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Cadillac’s entry into the entry-luxury segment, the ATS ...Pg. 12
We look at three legendary Group S World Rally Championship Cars ...pg 43
A 3-Series BMW capable of reducing your carbon footprint ...pg 20
The thoroughly revamped Nissan mid- sized family sedan ...pg 16
The origins of the iconic Ferrari Prancing Horse insignia ...pg 49
Toyota Supra A Wicked C.A.Sbuilt 1,000-hp ‘98 Toyota Supra ...pg 36
company profile Dee Zee ..pg 33
Starting Lines--------------------------------------------------------------- 4 Road Test: Ford Fusion --------------------------------------------------- 24 Feature: Mopac’s 40th Anniversary-------------------------------------- 25 RPM Test Fleet ------------------------------------------------------------ 28 Feature: Spring Cleaning ------------------------------------------------ 29 The Truck Guy ------------------------------------------------------------- 32 Plugged In ----------------------------------------------------------------- 40 Classic Corner ------------------------------------------------------------- 40 New Product Showcase -------------------------------------------------- 52 Parting Shots -------------------------------------------------------------- 54
Chevy SS 427 Bob Brody’s 1967 Chevy SS 427 ...pg 46
RPM June / July 2013
Subaru Debuts Next WRX Volume 15, Issue No. 3 June/July 2013 Publisher / Editor: Dean Washington email@example.com Associate Publisher: David Symons firstname.lastname@example.org Circulation: Brenda Washington email@example.com New Car Editor Gerry Frechette firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Coordinator / Graphic Designer Jordan Allan email@example.com
With the new Impreza being on the scene for a couple of years now, Subaru enthusiasts have been waiting with baited breaths for the next iteration of the WRX and STi. And with its main rival, the Mitsubishi Evo, going the way of the dodo, that wait has been a tense one, as the UK recently announced it will not sell the hotted-up compacts anymore. However, boy racers and ralliers rejoice, Subaru is working on the new high-output AWD turbo demons and have teased us with a new concept of what the next WRX might look like. This design is adequately aggressive for the concept rendering of such a ferocious car to begin with, and while the production version will most likely be tamed out a little, we are happy to see that Subaru is distancing the WRX and STi a little more from the everyday Impreza. Unfortunately, all we know is the design language and no technical details were released, but Subaruphiles can expect a high-strung, turbocharged flat-four pushing ample power to all four wheels.
Sales & Marketing Elaine Fontaine firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Writers/Photographers: Jordan Allan Gerry Frechette Dave MacKinnon Nigel Matthews Russell Purcell Budd Stanley
Suzuki Closes Up Shop The last five years have seen the demise of many auto makers. And while Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab are now gone, the writing is on the wall for yet another. While Suzuki will not be closing up shop on the global scene, the bankruptcy of Suzuki USA has meant that Suzuki Motor Corp. (not Suzuki motorcycles or powersports for those faithful) will not only cease operations south of the border, but also here in Canada. The move comes as sales hit a meager 5,458 last year and have since fallen 30 percent in the first
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STARTING LINES two months of 2013 – to 534 from 760 in the first two months of 2012. Suzuki’s most successful year came in 1989, when the company opened the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario as a joint venture between Suzuki and General Motors. That year saw 15,000 units roll into new homes. All vehicle warranties will be honoured, and parts and service will continue to be provided even after new vehicle sales stop after the 2014 model year. We’re particularly saddened to hear of Suzuki’s demise; like Saab, the little car maker from Japan made high-quality vehicles that didn’t follow the mainstream. It seems you have to be a multi-brand conglomerate building boring clones to survive these days. Lexus LF-LC Approved for Production We used to get quite upset at auto shows, as automakers flaunted visually flamboyant vehicles as a way of saying what they were capable of doing, then silently slipping that one-off design into the cellars,
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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 June / July 2013
leaving all desperately unsatisfied. Well, a common trend lately has seen many auto makers make much more usable and production-ready concepts, that with enough fanfare, earn themselves a limited production run. The latest vehicle that is said to be getting the nod from the brass is Lexus’ elegant LFLC concept that Wards Auto is reporting will get the green light for a limited run. No other information was given, but expect a low-production, high-priced, highpowered RWD hybrid to likely be offered through the same hurdles as the LF-A. VW Rewards Enthusiasts With Another Epic Concept The Worthersee Festival located at a picturesque lake in the Austrian Alps is the largest coming together of Volkswagen faithful on the planet. To reward those who love VWs, Volkswagen produces a special concept for each festival. A few years back, VW produced a manic W12-powered GTI. This year, the designers created another masterpiece with this 503-horsepower, 300 km/h concept based on the 7th generation of the GTI. That 503-horsepower comes courtesy of a unique twin-turbo 3.0 V6 and an AWD
STARTING LINES Camaro Z/28
drivetrain. This working concept reaches 100 km/h in only 3.9 seconds thanks to a DSG automatic gearbox. Unfortunately, like all Worthersee concepts, this will only be a one-off, although we would love to see a low production run of supercar-killing GTIs hit the streets.
differential. With that kind of power, the GT reaches 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and comes back to a stop equally as violently with a carbon ceramic brake system. Height-adjustable and adaptive damping suspension maximize grip along with a myriad of other performance improvements to send the old cat out with a bang. Initial production Jag XKR-S GT Is Track-Ready Feline will be limited to just 30 cars, making it the rarest ‘R’ model in the They say old cats are at their most dangerous when they reach the end 25-year history of Jaguar’s R performance cars. of their lives. Well there has been no shortage of new and improved, higher-performance Jaguar XKs hitting the market ever since the elder The Return of the Z/28 statesman was refreshed seven years ago. Yet, this latest edition is The Camaro faithful have taken a few hard knocks over the decades, not what you would initially think of as a Jaguar. Sporting a mass of but now that their ponycar has returned, they are also now getting bulges, vents, gills and carbon fibre aero devices both front and rear a nameplate back that holds historic significance. Yes, Chevrolet that actually achieves 145 kg of downforce, the new XKR-S GT is is bringing back the Z/28 to have a proper historic nameplate to do more of a boy racer’s Jag. It would have to be with such loud yellow battle with its legendary rival, the Mustang Boss 302. Like the Boss, six-piston calipers. Developed by Jaguar’s ETO division, this angry the Z/28 will be a track-inspired Camaro with a lighter-weight body, XK delivers 550 PS and 680 Nm from a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 fortified chassis, enhanced aerodynamics aimed specifically for track engine, driving through a six-speed transmission and active electronic use, dry-sump oil system, transmission and differential coolers and massive 15-inch Brembo brakes. The Z/28 will be a properly strippeddown version of the Camaro, doing away with stereo, A/C, tire inflation kits and even the trunk carpets. Like the Boss, the Z28 doesn’t pull the craziest engine from GM stocks, but a still potent-enough 500-horsepower 7.0-litre LS7 lifted from the Corvette range, mated to a six-speed manual and an aggressive 3.91:1 final-drive ratio and limited-slip helical-gear differential. We applaud GM for bringing us such a monster in a ”fuel-efficiency is everything” era, but really, you couldn’t confront the Boss 302 face to face, now that its production has just ceased. The Z/28 and other updated 2014 Camaros go on sale in the fall. Volvo Unleashes Polestar S60; Will Candinavia Get Any? Volvo has been plugging a new marketing program that gives reference to the similar environments that Canada and Scandinavia share,
RPM June / July 2013
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STARTING LINES and Hyundai all improved by double digit percentages based on their 2012 numbers. Toyota’s brand value rose 12% to $24.5 billion and some say it’s due to their developments in the hybrid market and now ranks 23rd overall on the list of the world’s top brands. BMW, the previous most valuable car brand, says that the 2% dip to $24 billion is due to the lack of new product launches this year compared to years past. They now sit 24th overall, 1 spot behind Toyota with Mercedes ( $18 billion, 43rd rank), Honda ($12.4 billion, 71st rank), and Nissan ($10.2 billion, 86th rank) being the next car even coining the phrase “Candinavia.” Having been to the Scandic brands on the list. side of the world, we know this to be quite true, but while the Swedes relate to us, do they like us enough to give us a chance to own one VW Upping Efficiency Ante with New of the most exciting Volvos to ever leave the Torslanda factory? Yes, Ten-Speed and 134-hp/litre Diesel the Polestar edition of the S60 is being put into production. The axe- The gearbox wars that have currently erupted in a rampant effort to wielding Viking, capable of slaying M3s and RS4s with a single swing, reel in fuel efficiency figures has become a game of oneupmanship will go into limited production. The problem is, Candinavia has been that sees automakers consistently adding more cogs to their gearbox overlooked and all the Polestars will be headed to the Outback. Yup, to improve fuel sipping numbers. However, how many gears are too not even Sweden itself will get any; Australia will receive a limited many? VW seems to think ten will do nicely. Volkswagen CEO Martin pilot run of the giant-killing S60s. boasting a detuned 350-horsepower Winterkorn revealed at the Vienna International Motor Symposium from the concept, capable of 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds. Let’s hope that they are working on a multi-faceted approach to reduce its fleet the pilot is a success and further Volvo Polestars come online for us fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. One of the advancements Nordic countries as well. includes a ten-speed DSG automatic transmission, while the other includes a new “high-performance” diesel engine that will produce 134 Toyota Passes BMW as most valuable global car brand horsepower per litre. While no specific applications were mentioned, Toyota has passed BMW to be ranked the most valuable automo- we can think of more than a couple of VW and Audi-badged vehicles tive brand in the world. Toyota, along with Mercedes-Benz, Audi, we’d like to see this killer one-two dumped into.
10 RPM June / July 2013
STARTING LINES Volvo Working on F1 KERS-Like Technology Volvo has been fairly quiet since it was taken over by Chinese car maker Geely, but it seems the Chinese have been making some investments, as Volvo is making several technological advances. Along with Swedish bearing manufacturer SKF, Volvo has been hard at work on an F1-like KERS propulsion system that makes use of kinetic energy. Volvo has worked on flywheel propulsion systems since the eighties, but only recently has technology caught up. Volvo found that its new system increases fuel savings by
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FENDER FlaRE STylES New & late model applicatioNs: Ford, GMC, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, Jeep & Nissan as much as 25 percent. With a traditional fourcylinder driving the front wheels and the KERS system attached to the rear, a carbon fibre flywheel gathers rotational energy during braking, spinning the flywheel up to 60,000 revolutions per minute. The stored energy is then used to aid restart and cruising speeds. At only six kilograms while pumping out an additional 80 horsepower, the system is a lightweight advantage over traditional battery-laden hybrids. Mercedes Wants To Improve Our Driving Skills It would not be so bold to say that the lack of skills and attention of motorists these days is nothing less than epidemic. Instead of just pumping its vehicles full of as many safety devices as possible, Mercedes-Benz is going the extra step by introducing a new driver training school aimed at building real-world skills for new drivers. The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy for New Drivers offers a full spectrum of driver education and training programs that delve well-beyond simply learning the basic traffic regulations and fundamental driving techniques necessary for novice drivers to obtain their license. A proven combination of classroom, in-car, and online education sessions will equip new drivers with a broad scope of skills and core competencies that are crucial for safe motoring. Better yet, this course isn’t just for Mercedes owners; anyone is eligible to improve their driving skills. The Academy for New Drivers will be operated by Vancouver-based Driving Unlimited, a longtime partner of Mercedes-Benz Canada, out of local dealerships in the Vancouver area to start, priced at $1,290.
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A Big Hit
The all-new Cadillac ATS Story and photos by Gerry Frechette
hen we, the journalists of AJAC, descended upon our annual Car of the Year testing last October, there was, as always, a bit of buzz for a few of the new cars entered, and one of them this time around was the Cadillac ATS, the new small Caddy sedan entered in the Luxury category. Despite there being compact front-wheel drive platforms in the General Motors stable upon which to base a smaller Cadillac, GMâ€™s luxury brand went with an all-new rear-wheel drive design, adaptable to all-wheel drive, a clear message that it was targeting the benchmark in the entry-luxury segment, the BMW 3-Series. In a delicious irony, the new version of that very car was also entered in the competition, but we were not comparing apples with apples, as it turns out. The BMW was the 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and all-wheel drive, no doubt a nice package, while the ATS was the top-end 3.6-litre V6 with 81 horsepower more, rear-wheel drive and performance suspension, and needless to say, it got our attention and handily won the class against the BMW and a few other worthy entrants. That was a serious performance sedan. 12 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
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from 122 cubic inches – and the light weight - only 1,605 kilograms with the AWD – you know this thing will go, and that it does, with reported 0-100 km/h times in the six-second range, and we believe that. We just wish that the model we drove had been the 2.0T with manual transmission and RWD; now that would have been fun, but we recognize that this one is probably the best all-round package, and the one that will likely sell the most. Backing up the longitudinally-mounted four was a six-speed automatic that shifted smoothly and quickly, up or down, especially with the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. It had three modes available – Tour, Sport, and Snow/Ice, each with their own unique algorithms and feel. You can guess which mode it spent the most time in, although the Tour mode is really quite pleasant for normal use around town. Our overall indicated fuel consumption in mostly “light-footed” driving was 16L/100 km, much higher than the rating, so we have our doubts about its accuracy
When it came time to send out an ATS to the far west part of the country for extended test drives, the Vancouver area was given....you guessed it, the “Performance” model 2.0-litre four-cylinder version with all-wheel drive. Of course, we don’t have the comparable BMW (or anything else) in our driveway to drive back-to-back, but we have driven the Caddy in most conditions not beyond rain, and can say that it is not far behind its big brother, the V6, in most regards.
What this ATS didn’t have, unfortunately, is the FE3 Magnetic Ride Control that the V6 “track star” we drove back in October had; that would have really put the performance in a model so named, but we believe that it isn’t available at this level, and/or with AWD. In any case, the ATS’s chassis is well-balanced (50/50 weight distribution, actually) with strong brakes (Brembos in front), ZF electric steering (that could have used a little more on-centre feel for my taste) and four-wheel independent suspension.
If you want technology in your small luxury car, you’ve come to the right place. Start with CUE – Cadillac User Experience plus optional navigation, which has all the expected infotainment and connectivity features, more than we have room to describe here, all displayed on one of the most attractive and easy-to-use 8-inch touch screens in the business. Assume, for example, that you have the screen programmed to control the audio system. Leave it alone, and only the most important functions and info are displayed, but move your In short, this is a quick and dynamic small sedan. When you think hand near the screen, and all menu options appear suddenly on the about just the power output - 272 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque screen, ready for your next command. It’s pretty cool. Also of note, There is no doubting at first glance that this is a Cadillac, as it has all the current design language, just in a smaller package. The all-wheel drive version seems to sit a bit higher on its suspension than the RWD version (also with the sport-tuned suspension), so that is not the most athletic look, but driving this ATS makes you forget about such subjective judgements.
14 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
Seating Package. Up front, and especially for the driver, the seats are as good as anything in this segment, which means 14-way adjustability including pull-out under thigh support, adjustable bolsters, and lots of support. The back seats themselves are pretty well-shaped, too, although you really wouldn’t want to be the one sitting in the middle of three people back there. But the issue is space. There just isn’t much of it – a six-footer would not only have a hard time getting through the small rear door, but “sitting behind himself” (the front seat mostly all the way back) is pretty much impossible, especially since there is very limited space under the front seat for his feet. This is such a basic thing that it shouldn’t be an issue. And then, there is the trunk. It is very small for the size of the car, as well as compared to others in the segment, and you aren’t going to be fitting a fullsize set of golf clubs in there, much
every button pushed on the screen (the only way to control it), or less a few Samsonites. on the audio and HVAC panel below it (no actual buttons or knobs here), is accompanied by a slight vibration confirming the action, In any case, the ATS has been a big hit with the critics, and it scores called haptic feedback. as a small performance sedan that Cadillac can use to fight the traditional heavyweights in the entry-luxury segment. It has a wide range Enough technology for you? Not if active safety is important to you of powertrain options, and the tested 2.0 turbo is just plain very quick (and it is, right?) Not only does the Performance model come standard and impressive, backed up by a very capable chassis. with the Driver Awareness Package which includes forward collision alert, lane departure warning and the cool safety alert seat which Its appeal as a car is obvious, but ultimately, its true success will be vibrates in the thigh area if one of those systems is activated, but measured by how many BMW 3-Series intenders make a trip to the is optionally available (for $3,860) with the Driver Assist Package, nearest Cadillac dealer to take a spin in an ATS. We think that those which adds adaptive cruise control, automatic collision preparation, people would be making a mistake if they didn’t at least check out electronic parking brake, rear cross traffic alert (for safe reversing), the ATS. side blind zone alert, and head-up display. We’ve seen the latter feature before, of course, and here, it displays the car’s speed, plus your choice of engine rpms, radio station, or navigation directions. It’s very useful, and we wish more cars had it, because it does indeed keep your head, or vision, up, where it should be. All in all, this is an amazing suite of active safety technology, but then, it has become the price of entry into the luxury automotive segments. Another price of entry is obviously amenities, and here, the ATS is a mixed bag, despite this version of the ATS having the all-in Leather
SPECIFICATIONS Base price: ...............................................................................................$46,660 Price as tested: ........................................................................................$54,315 Type: .............................................................. 4-door, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan Layout: . .................................................................................. Front engine, AWD Engine: . ................................................................................2.0L DOHC Turbo I4 Transmission: .................................................................................. 6-speed auto Power: .......................................................................................................272 hp Torque: . .................................................................... 260 lb-ft @ 1700-5500 rpm Curb weight: ...........................................................................................1,605 kg Fuel Economy (L/100km, city/hwy): . ...................................................... 10.3/6.6
At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013 15
ROAD TEST - NISSAN ALTIMA The driver’s cockpit features an uncluttered, compact gauge cluster and a three-spoke steering wheel loaded with secondary controls. The centre stack is a simple design devoid of extraneous switches and buttons, as many of the car’s features are operated using a touch screen display.
The Efficient Family Sedan 2013 Nissan Altima
Story and photos by Russell Purcell
he mid-size sedan category has never been so hot, as a whole host of new models have slinked onto the scene for 2013. One of the most talked about is the Nissan Altima, a long-time Canadian favourite, which has been thoroughly revamped for 2013. The all-new Altima represents the fifth generation for this nameplate and with each remodel, the folks at Nissan have selected to increase the car’s size, refinement, and equipment levels. The exterior is far more dramatic up front, and with its carefully sculpted lines it reminds me of both the Maxima and the wonderful sedans which are produced under the Infiniti brand. The look is decidedly upmarket from the front, but as your eyes scan over the car’s side profile and rear end it seems to lose much of this new found lustre. Don’t get me wrong, I find the car appealing, but I do wish there were a few more sprinkles on my sundae. My test vehicle was a top-tier four-cylinder unit (2.5 SL) so it came relatively loaded. The styling of the Altima’s interior is progressive, again upmarket, and the level of fit and finish would be impressive if the car was twice the price. The overall quality, look and feel of the materials used throughout the cabin are top notch.
The optional Technology Package is a bargain at $1,100, as it includes an array of safety technologies that are rarely seen on cars in this category. This includes a navigation system with seven-inch touch-screen monitor and voice recognition, and cell phone-linked services like NavTraffic, POIs powered by Google, Google Send-To-Car, fuel, flight and weather information. It also includes an arsenal of safety gear including an advanced rear view camera system, Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Moving Object Detection (MOD), and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). I was impressed with the operation of all three of these electronic nannies, but you should be warned that the BSW system seemed to send a lot of false signals. During my time with the car, the weather here in Vancouver was seasonably wet so the road surface tends to act like a mirror. Reflections of road barriers, trees and parked vehicles would often trigger the BSW system, causing the column mounted warning light to flash as if a moving car, pedestrian or object was alongside the vehicle. I found the front seats comfortable and spacious enough for my 6’2” XXXL-sized frame, and the two outboard rear positions offered me a satisfactory level of comfort. Nissan calls these Zero-Gravity seats, a name derived from the fact that they enlisted the help of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to research the effects of proper seating and posture. The end result is a seat design that helps reduce muscular and spinal loads, and improve blood flow, thereby helping reduce fatigue over long periods behind the wheel. They seem to almost hug their occupants and proved very supportive. The Altima features a full complement of storage nooks and cup-holders, and the trunk is large enough for Costco runs. Should larger items need to be stowed, the rear seats do fold. As before, there are two engines available in the Altima line. For those buyers looking for a little extra grunt, Nissan offers the latest variant of its proven 3.5-litre V6. This smooth operator produces a healthy 270 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque. As attractive as this sounds, I imagine that the majority of Canadian buyers will choose the car fitted with the 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder engine (182 horsepower, 180 lb-ft) in an effort to reduce fuel consumption and ease the pain at the pump. In either case, the car is fitted with Nissan’s Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which has been re-engineered to provide smoother operation and reduce internal friction. This ultra-efficient transmission also benefits from an expanded gear ratio spread. I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of CVT transmissions as they tend to artificially hold the engine rpm near the top end of the tachometer while the car’s electronic wizards try to determine what you are asking the car to do via your inputs on the throttle pedal. Luckily, the much more refined 2013 Altima features a well-insulated cabin to help reduce the engine noise under hard acceleration.
16 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
ROAD TEST - NISSAN ALTIMA
The extra commotion and noise produced by the CVT can prove stressful at times (such as when accelerating to execute a passing manoeuvre or when working up the momentum to enter the flow of traffic on a busy freeway), but this revised system seems to find its optimal setting more quickly than the variant fitted to the outgoing model. Acceleration is relatively quick with runs from 0-100 km/h taking a little over eight seconds, but remember, this model has been designed to maximize fuel efficiency rather than helping you win stoplight drag races. Nissan claims that by reducing the weight of both the carâ€™s body and four-cylinder engine, as well as reworking the CVT, they have been rewarded with a 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency for the car verses a similarly-equipped fourth generation model. Nissanâ€™s product literature claims that the car is capable of highway fuel mileage rating as low as 5.0 litres per 100 kilometres! This is an impressive number for any automobile, but when it is associated with a car large enough to comfortably shuttle five full grown adults, you have to take notice. Handling is predictable as the suspension did an excellent job of communicating what the wheels were doing at any given time and body roll was minimal. The car remained poised and tracked straight and true. The brakes were efficient and remained fade free even after several hard panic stops from 80 kilometres an hour. The Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry tend to be cross-shopped on a regular basis, but the all-new Nissan Altima deserves a spot on your short list if you are looking for a car with class-leading efficiency, obvious build quality, and very attractive pricing.
SPECIFICATIONS Base price range (MSRP): ..............................................................................................$23,698 - $29,598 Price as tested: . ..............................................$32,658.00 (includes $1,100 - Technology Package; $135 Metallic Storm Blue paint; $1,695 - Freight & PDE; $130 - Assorted taxes and levies). Type: .............................................................................................................. 5-passenger, mid-size sedan Layout: ...........................................................................................................................Front engine, FWD Engine: ........................................................................................................2.5L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder Power: . ...................................................................................................................... 182 hp @ 5,600 rpm Torque: . ................................................................................................................... 180 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm Transmission: . ......................................................................................................................... Xtronic CVT Brakes: .................................................................................... Front-wheel ventilated disc; rear-wheel disc Suspension: ............................................................Independent strut front and multilink rear suspension Acceleration (0-100 km/h): . .....................................................................................................8.6 seconds Cargo / trunk volume (L / cu. ft.): ................................................................................................436 / 15.4 Fuel consumption (L/100 km/h): .............................................. City 7.4 (38 mpg) / Highway 5.0 (56 mpg)
18 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
ROAD TEST - BMW ACTIVEHYBRID3
Dynamic, intelligent and efficient
Story and photos by Russell Purcell
he BMW 3-Series lineup of automobiles is one of the most popular in the country and as such, the stylish compact sedans, coupes and convertibles have developed a very loyal following. In an effort to both retain and grow the 3’s customer base, BMW product planners offer the vehicles fitted with wide range of engines, trim levels and options to maintain consumer interest. As a result, the 3-Series arsenal includes everything from economical four-cylinder models, luxurious showpieces, and even track-ready weapons (M3). However, the latest entry - the ActiveHybrid 3 - has been designed to appeal to those consumers looking to reduce their carbon footprint. The modern hybrid automobile has now been with us for almost 15 years. During this period, Toyota, Honda and Ford have largely dominated the market due to the fact that the three companies were all early adopters of the technology, but in recent years, hybrid models have become more common, as tougher emissions regulations have been put in place. Well, BMW has now jumped into the fray, but in a very different manner. The goal for the offerings on the company’s ActiveHybrid menu is to offer maximum efficiency and maximum dynamics.
While most hybrid designs seek to maximize the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, this often comes at a price. Unfortunately the gains garnered by the assistance of the electric motor usually result in a substantial loss of the car’s overall performance. Virtually every hybrid car offers impressive initial acceleration due to the instantaneous delivery of torque gleaned from the stored electrical charge in the battery packs, but for the most part, the rest of the driving experience tends to be rather bland. The fine folks at BMW have always touted that their cars have been designed to deliver “the ultimate driving experience,” so a traditional hybrid design would definitely fall short in this regard. As a result, BMW’s ActiveHybrid lineup of 3-, 5- and 7-Series cars are being marketed as luxury performance hybrid vehicles, with the emphasis being on performance rather than the quest for optimal fuel efficiency. The performance hybrid concept is not new, as Honda tried a similar concept with its Accord Hybrid several years back. This premiumpriced Accord offered consumers slightly higher performance than the conventional V6-engined Accord, but unfortunately, the marketplace did not embrace the hybrid unit, and the vehicle was discontinued after the 2007 model year. At the time, it was evident that Toyota’s similarly sized Camry Hybrid better represented the wants and needs of the environmentally conscious Canadian automotive consumer with its four-cylinder engine and subdued performance. The luxury performance hybrid, on the other hand, has proven quite successful, as it appears that many of the consumers who are already prepared to pay a premium for a quality product don’t seem to mind paying a little extra to go green. BMW rival Lexus has had some success with its performance hybrid offerings - GS 450h and LS 600h - as have both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. BMW hopes that the small segment of its clientele that might be looking for a more green alternative will stay in the family and embrace the ActiveHybrid 3 and its larger siblings, as these vehicles offer levels of comfort and performance that they have become accustomed to from the brand’s products, but without the social stigma that often comes along for the ride.
20 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
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ROAD TEST - BMW ACTIVEHYBRID3 console-mounted Driving Experience Control. There are four distinct driving modes - ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT or SPORT+ - available, and each one will alter the response of the throttle, transmission, stability control, and steering feel as well as determine the participation status of the electric motor. The ECO PRO mode is geared towards maximum efficiency and even the climate control and other convenience functions are adapted intelligently to reduce power consumption. The dash-mounted display screen can be used to watch a series of onboard videos that explain how the car’s systems work to maximize efficiency, and a series of screens and a gauge cluster Charge/Power indicator help to provide tips and real-time data on how to drive more efficiently. In addition, with ECO PRO Mode activated, it is possible to run solely on electric power for up to four kilometres (at speeds up to 75 km/h) and to coast at up to 160 km/h! Impressive. While driving in SPORT mode, the combustion engine is only switched off at very low speeds, which enables an especially sporty style of driving with high revs and additional power from the electric boost function. COMFORT mode allows electric driving without any restriction on convenience functions such as the heating for the exterior mirrors.
Under the hood, you will find a longitudinal, front-mounted, twin-turbocharged, 3.0-litre, inline six-cylinder engine partnered with a hybridspecific, ultra-smooth, eight-speed automatic (Steptronic) transmission. The intelligent hybrid system is comprised of a 40-kW electric motor which is mated to a high-performance, lithium-ion battery which resides under the trunk floor. Unfortunately XDrive is not available in ActiveHybrid models, but enthusiast drivers will rejoice that the car retains a The ActiveHybrid 3 comes equipped with all of the basic luxuries and rear-wheel drive layout. convenience features one expects in a premium product including unique beige-coloured instruments, power-operated and heated sport The potent combination of the BMW TwinPower Turbo straight-six seats, leather seating surfaces, sunroof, and a top-notch climate control engine and the electric motor produce a maximum output of 335 horse- system. BMW’s intuitive iDrive interface control is standard, as are power and 332 lb-ft of torque (@1,300 rpm) which is good enough to active bi-xenon headlights, but many of the safety and infotainment launch the car from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 5.5 seconds. This is only features on my test unit had to be ordered as optional equipment. a hair slower than the launch times of the lighter 335i (5.4 seconds), but the big win is at the pump, where the combined average of city I enjoyed my time behind the wheel of this car because it delivered the and highway fuel economy drops from 7.7L/100 km in the 335i to an driving experience that I have come to expect from a BMW product. I impressive 7.1L in the ActiveHybrid 3. know this was the plan, but I think BMW would move a lot more cars if they had followed the Toyota route and made the ActiveHybrid 3 the The hybrid system adds an additional 105 kilograms of weight to the most fuel-efficient of the 3-Series models rather than the most powerful, car when compared to a 335i, but you won’t notice a substantial change especially if they were equipped with all the comfort, safety and convein handling if you are familiar with that of the current 3-Series, as the nience features one comes to expect in the typical BMW product. Even batteries have been carefully positioned ahead of the rear axle and situ- so, I suspect this car will sell quite well in environmentally-conscious ated very low in the car in an effort to preserve the vehicle’s near ideal markets like Vancouver, but some consumers might balk at the near weight distribution. This means that the car is very well balanced and $7,100 premium they will have to pay for the privilege of owning what handling is both predictable and exhilarating. If you weren’t informed is, in fact, the top-of-the-line 3-Series automobile. the car was a hybrid, you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Don’t expect to boast about your impressive fuel economy numbers if you drive this car aggressively, as it likes to gulp its share of premium fuel, but if you drive like a model citizen and tend to travel in a congested city environment, you will see some gains as a result of the hybrid system. This is due to the fact that it will operate the car as a purely electric vehicle whenever it makes sense in energy terms – such as being stuck in stop-and-go urban traffic. The electric motor then draws only the energy that is needed from the lithium-ion battery in which the power obtained from energy recovery is stored. If you are like me and enjoy taking long Sunday drives in the country, then I suspect that you would quickly learn to appreciate the ActiveHybrid’s electric boost function. The intelligent hybrid system monitors your driving style and the load being placed on the engine, so when it comes time to execute a passing manoeuvre or climb a steep grade, the electric motor’s boost function will step in to provide the combustion engine with its extra 35 ponies. The ActiveHybrid 3’s performance parameters can be adjusted to meet the individual needs of the driver using the 22 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
SPECIFICATIONS Base price (MSRP): .............................................................................. $58,300 Price as tested: . ...................................................... $67,270 [Includes options: Premium Package ($4,500); Driver Assistance Package ($800); Liquid Blue metallic paint ($800); Freight & PDI: $2,095; Various fees and levies ($775)] Type: ........................................................... 4-door, 5-passenger luxury sedan. Layout: ...............................................................Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive Engine: ..........................Twin-turbocharged, 3.0-litre, inline six-cylinder engine Horsepower: . ................ 300 @ 5,800 rpm; + 35-hp from 40-kW electric motor Torque (lb-ft): . .......................................................................332 @ 1,300 rpm Transmission: . ....................................................8-Speed Steptronic automatic Brakes: ............................................................................................... Disc/disc Fuel economy [L/100 km]: . ..................... City 8.0 (35.3 mpg); Hwy 5.9 (47.8); Combined 7.1 (39.8)
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A&W opened the first drive-in restaurant in Canada...
and Cruisin' the Dub was born!
The cars are now classics, and so is A&W. Join us now for another fun season of Cruisin' the Dub at a restaurant near you.
Find a Cruisin' restaurant at www.aw.ca/cruisin-the-dub. 速 Trade-mark of A&W Trade Marks Limited Partnership, used under licence.
ROAD TEST - FORD FUSION while the suspension, while not performance-oriented in this model, makes this Fusion one of the more fun-to-drive midsize sedans, with smooth transitions and damping. Our tester was loaded up with all manner of convenience and safety gear, including SYNC® with MyFord™ voiceactivated communications and entertainment system. This is pretty high-end gear, with a touch screen and all the connectivity you could want. This system has had some teething issues, but without having got into the voice-activated or phone-connection aspects of it in our brief time with the car, the screen interface was clear and intuitive.
A Big Step Forward The 2013 Ford Fusion
Story and photos by Gerry Frechette
ith all the new cars and technology Ford has unleashed the past year or so, it would be easy to overlook the most ordinary of them all – the Fusion mid-size family sedan with regular gasoline engine propulsion. But that would be a mistake, as it moves the basic Fusion into the upper echelon of what must be the largest car segment in North America. Sure, there are Fusions with batteries and motors on board, but the basic model has a lot going for it.
Also on board was the Driver Assist package ($1,500) which included Lane Keeping System, and while the audible and vibrating steering wheel warnings seem useful if you drift out of your lane, it is a bit of a shock at first to have the steering wheel actually turned back to “straight ahead” by the car if the driver ignores them. Included with this package, as well, is Blind Spot Information System, that basically warns of anything beside or behind the car that the driver might not be able to see. It’s a new world in active safety technology, in just the past few years, and it’s great that it is available on a mainstream family car like this one. Also interesting is the Active Park Assist, which will parallel-park the car with the driver only needing to apply throttle and brake. There are drivers who this will greatly benefit. Inside, the Fusion is a nice place to spend time, with supportive front seats and good ergonomics, while in the back, it is roomy enough for most people, with three-across seating feasible for those of smaller stature. The interior is nicely, if conservatively, designed and trimmed in black with aluminum-look trim, and all surfaces that the occupant can touch are soft plastic or foam. The design of the dashboard, in particular the centre stack, seems a bit uninspired, though, given the designs in some other new Fords, and the competition.
The trunk is of a useful shape and size, which can be enhanced by the 60/40 The new Fusion SE is the mid-level model, between the S and the Titanium, fold-down rear seats, but getting into it is a challenge, with the small opening, and as such, forgoes some of the luxury features, but not the performance or and the fact that the lid just doesn’t swing up very high, especially for taller folk. It is easy to hit one’s head on the latch. safety technology, which is either standard or optionally available. Under the hood, the Fusion is all four-cylinder, starting with a basic 2.5-litre unit for the budget-conscious, but the current buzzword in Ford-land is EcoBoost, and the Fusion is offered with both 1.6- and 2.0-litre versions. Our tester had the 1.6, and it is the fuel efficiency champ of the three, with rated highway consumption of 5.5L/100 km. In 90-percent urban driving, the onboard computer indicated 13.4L/100 km, not too bad for a small turbocharged engine in a mid-size car, that also manages to pump out 178 horsepower, but a lot less thrifty than the official 8.7 city rating. While on the engine, it was slightly less than silky smooth in normal operation, with a noticeable ticking sound, but not obtrusively so. Between it and the front wheels was a six-speed automatic transmission that worked seamlessly to deliver the power when it was needed, although it was kept busy by the little engine wanting to stay in its power band. The autobox has a PRNDS gate, the “S” standing for sport, we presume, as it keeps the revs higher longer, and there is a little rocker switch on the side of the shift knob for up-down shifting, an odd design in our view. A six-speed manual is available; indeed, this is the only Fusion on which a manual can be had, and we wish we could have tried it. Ford has certainly done a good job with the Fusion’s front-wheel drive chassis, not unexpected for a “world” car. Steering feels direct and linear, and the brakes strong, 24 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
In any case, the Fusion is a big step forward for Ford and a serious competitor in the mid-size sedan wars. The 1.6 EcoBoost is likely to be the volume leader, and with a bigger EcoBoost engine available, plus a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, there really is something for every need and budget, all with style and technology that is right up there at the top of the class.
SPECIFICATIONS Base price: ........................................................................................... $24,499 Price as tested: . ................................................................................... $31,649 Type: ........................................................... 4-door, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan Layout: ................................................................................. Front engine, FWD Engine: ....................................................... 1.6L DOHC Turbo Direct Injected I4 Transmission: . ..............................................................................6-speed auto Power: . .................................................................................................. 178 hp Torque: ........................................................................... 184 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm Fuel Economy (L/100km, city/hwy): .......................................................8.7/5.5
Mopac Celebrates 40 Years John Duda steers Canada’s high-performance leader into decade number five.
orty years, possibly to the day, after opening what we would have called a “speed shop” on Kingsway in Vancouver, we sat down with Mopac Auto Supply’s company president John Duda in their impressive facility in Langley, B.C. to discuss where Mopac and the high-performance auto parts industry has been, is now, and might be headed. Duda, never at a loss for words, gave us his insight in a wideranging discussion.
share of rough spots,” he admits. “We were young in the early 1980s, things had been going well, and we didn’t know the meaning of difficult times. But we all had a strong interest in this business, and we all made some personal sacrifices over the years. From 1990 to now, it has been mostly an upward curve. When we look at this past recession, which started to affect us in 2008, we were fortunate that we had got to the point where we were very competitive. Our buying power is very strong, our cost of business is low, we have a very efficient business model, and that allowed us to not see significant drops in business.”
We last spoke with him four years ago at which point we covered off the details about how Mopac was originally started by brother George with a partner back in 1973. Six months later John left his studies at SFU to work in the business full time, buying out his brother’s partner after about 18 months. John ultimately bought out brother George as well and has since (working along with their younger brother Rick) managed to propel Mopac into becoming Canada’s largest high-performance auto parts wholesaler and retailer (with outlets in Langley, Edmonton and Calgary). As Duda explains, the road to this point has been a winding one thanks to recessions in 1982 and 2008. “We’ve definitely had our
The high-performance auto parts industry has undergone huge changes over time, even within the past year, with new competitors making inroads into the Canadian market. One to come soon is a name some people might recognize – Amazon. “There are more manufacturers selling directly to consumers than ever before, and there are more and more internet sellers. The industry itself, in terms of the number of jobbers, has dropped dramatically, and we can see that with the decline in attendance at the SEMA Show, with the majority of attendees there not even being in the industry anymore. The industry is probably half the size it used to be, in terms of the number of players involved. So we
Story and photos Gerry Frechette
At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013 25
see a continued movement to direct-to-market resellers. The majority of Mopac’s business is done wholesale; we’ve evolved from a small retail operation into a major performance distributor.” From the customer’s point of view, the high-performance parts landscape has also obviously changed hugely, thanks to the constant advances in technology in new cars. And of course, Mopac has had to keep pace. “Fuel costs have played a role, the consumer is looking for better performance with better fuel economy, and as a result there has been a serious move to fuel injection. So, while we are seeing a growing shift away from people building cars with carburetors, the hard-core race guy remains loyal to the old methods of making power. We are actually selling more carburetors than ever before in the history of the company. When it comes to late-model performance cars, there is a lot of focus on electronics, such as computer chips and programmers. People are also looking at exhaust systems as a way of improving performance and mileage. almost cover the lease costs with the fuel savings alone. I think that is why, on a year-over-year basis, the sale of new cars is not totally in So, clearly, there are at least a couple of segments that Mopac operates the tank. If we had cheap gas now, I believe our vehicle sales would in – the hard-core racing parts business, which keeps to its traditional be much worse.” ways and evolves slowly, and the late-model street performance vehicle business, which sees big changes almost every year. That keeps Duda Okay, then, so Duda would prefer a better environment in which to operon his toes, and begs the question – just what is high-performance, and ate his business. And most business people would agree. But those of us who were around 40 years ago remember the insurance companies reigning in the muscle cars, and the gasoline embargo, and all the other lovely aspects of being a performance enthusiast in the 1970s. At least today, we still have cars that would blow away anything from 40 years ago, but does Duda see a risk of the manufacturers moving away from performance, or being legislated out of the market? “With the old technology, namely carburetors, the only way you could improve efficiency and economy was by substantially limiting power,” he says. “With today’s technology, the auto makers can achieve much higher power results and still improve economy. So, as a result, I don’t see them just targeting the power aspect; what they would target is the emissions and fuel consumption side of the equation. If they can continue to make big power and meet those challenges, I don’t see a problem. The fact that the bar has been raised as far as it has – 600 horsepower off the showroom floor – is good for the industry. But I think pulling back on the power and performance side of the industry will only happen if the engineers cannot meet the fuel ratings and still achieve the same power. Our main focus will remain on the hard core where is it headed? “When we say high-performance parts, we are high-performance side of the business.” still talking about parts designed to make the car run faster or perform better. We don’t do a lot of dress-up accessories. But there is concern His reference to 600-horsepower cars for sale begs the question – do in the industry. There seems to be a shift to smaller, more fuel-efficient we really need that much power on the street? No surprise, Duda feels vehicles, and many don’t lend themselves to what we consider to be typi- that big power is a good thing. “I’m the type of person who believes cal modifications. I am concerned with what I see for a product mix.” there is not such a thing as too much horsepower. Is there the ability to produce more power than some people can handle? Yes, absolutely. Of course, the new car performance market includes those manufactur- But then, there are people out there who can’t drive a 200-horsepower ers that most would call the ‘imports’ – those that aren’t the original Big Three from Detroit. Mopac does do some business in this segment, although the precipitous decline in the ‘tuner’ craze over the past decade must have had an effect. “We’re selling some performance stuff for certain Mitsubishi cars, that sort of thing. We’re seeing some Hyundai business, and the Honda business has always been there. When I look at the import side of things, the percentage of it is still not significant for us. It is difficult to inventory the parts when you have a much more limited market.” The outspoken Duda is only just getting warmed up with his views on the ‘big picture’ of the auto industry. “You get into the situation with the overall economy, what we are being told, what is the truth. And despite the rosy sales figures, it is our contention that dealerships are still hurting. There has not been a significant rebound, at least not in Canada. I believe that with vehicles that are selling better, it is to a large extent brought on by improved fuel efficiency. You can lease a new vehicle for $199 a month, and compared to the car it is replacing, you can 26 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
car safely. From that perspective, as a car guy, I like to see the bigger power numbers come out. Handled correctly, I believe a car is safer with more power.” So, it is onward and upward for Mopac Auto Supply, and Duda is always looking at opportunities that may exist. “There is potential for some future expansion. We would entertain another move east of Alberta, or to the south. And given our business model, there isn’t a market big enough east of Alberta until you hit Toronto. So if Mopac expands, it would be there, or to the U.S. But we’ll need a building bigger than this one, which currently feeds the two Alberta stores. So if we expand somewhere else, we’ll be looking at a situation like we have here, as it will have to function as its own stand-alone warehouse. It is our belief that the Ontario market is under-serviced in the hard-core performance side of the business. There are some big players in traditional auto parts, but in our opinion, there really isn’t anyone in Ontario doing what we do in Western Canada, in anywhere near as big a way.” Back when John Duda started working at his brother George’s little speed shop in the summer of 1974, he could not have imagined where the business would be now. “When I started as a kid, this whole thing came so easily, because I’m a numbers guy and I just don’t forget them. Then the 1980 recession happened, but once we started getting rolling again in 1990, our business has increased over 30 times since then. That said, I’ve had some high goals and expectations, especially since the move into Alberta in 1997. Things started to kick into high gear for us then. Then it just became a case of how big we can become in this market.
Duda’s still producing big power and smiles after 40 years. it, we realized that, wow, this was the best move ever for us. The only disappointment in the last 20 years is that the recession came along in 2008 and hasn’t really lifted, in my opinion. It’s been good the past couple of years, and we are back to doing what we were doing in 2008, but we have lost that five years of potential growth. If it had been what it was in the prior five years, the business would be double what it is today. At the same time, I believe that we can grow the business further and do double the business we are now.”
“As far as the numbers we are achieving today, or the size of the operation, I honestly thought we could get to this stage,” he concludes. Lots can happen, but the way things are going, Mopac Auto Parts has “This building was a bit of a stretch for us in 2005, so you are always a bright future… as long as people continue to want parts to make their a bit nervous making that kind of move, but within a month of making cars perform better.
At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013 27
RPM TEST FLEET Scion tC
Price: .........................................$21,130 ($24,420 for Release Series 8.0) Engine: . .................................................................2.5L DOHC 16-valve I4 Trans: ..................................................................................... 6-speed auto Power: . ............................................................................................ 180 hp Torque: ........................................................................................... 173 lb-ft Curb Weight: ................................................................3,037 lbs/1,378 kg Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) 8.9/6.3 New for 2013: The Release Series 8.0 was added to the lineup, a limitededition model that features Absolutely Red paint, black side view mirrors and 18-inch wheels, and a body kit that includes side skirts and a rear spoiler. Segment Competitors: Honda Civic, Hyundai Veloster, Nissan Versa, Kia Forte Koup, Chevrolet Cruze, Volkswagen Beetle The Skinny: The Scion tC was redesigned in 2011 and remains much the same this year. The car has a very sporty look and feel, and drives accordingly. The car has more than enough power to have some fun and the stiff steering and suspension are reminiscent of some more expensive offerings. Pros: Had a blast driving this car! Our Release Series 8.0 test model looked great and gave the car that extra something to stand out from a crowd. Cons: The excessive noise from inside the car may be a problem for some, but maybe not for the younger crowd this car is aimed towards. The Verdict: An affordable, compact sports car that’s fun to drive, easy to use, and won’t put a huge dent in your wallet at the gas pump.
Ford Escape Titanium
Price: ............................................................................................. $37,499 Engine: ........................................................ 2.0L Turbo DOHC 16-valve I4 Trans: . ................................................................................... 6-speed auto Power: ............................................................................................. 237 hp Torque: ...........................................................................................250 lb-ft Curb Weight: ...............................................................3,804 lbs./1,725 kg Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) ....................................9.8/6.9 New for 2013: The Escape is all-new for 2013 and now sports a more aerodynamic shape, new technology such as Sync, and MyFordTouch, and 2 new EcoBoost engine offerings. Segment Competitors: Kia Sorento, Dodge Journey, Audi Q5, Volkswagen Tiguan, Nissan Rogue, Jeep Wrangler The Skinny: The Escape was redesigned for 2013 and now features a more aerodynamic, aggressive shape than the previous Escape just did not offer. Three 4-cylinder engine options are available and new features like a motion-sensing power liftgate, MyFord Touch system, and intelligent 4WD have freshened things up. Pros: Our Titanium test model with the 2.0L EcoBoost had great acceleration, and MyFord Touch makes doing just about anything from the driver’s seat a breeze. Cons: Ford boasts impressive fuel economy numbers, but we can’t say we experienced them. The Verdict: A very versatile vehicle that is great for everything from running daily errands, to going away camping for the long weekend.
Porsche Cayenne Diesel
Price: .............................................................................................. $65,500 Engine: ..............................................3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC 24-valve V6 Trans: . .................................................................................... 8-speed auto Power: .............................................................................................. 240 hp Torque: ........................................................................................... 406 lb-ft Curb Weight: ................................................................4,795 lbs./2,175 kg Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) .................................. 10.8/6.7 New for 2013: The Cayenne Diesel was introduced to the Canadian market for the 2013 model year, sporting the VW 3.0L V6 that achieves excellent fuel economy ratings. Segment Competitors: GMC Yukon Denali, Volkswagen Touareg, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Acura MDX, Land Rover LR4 The Skinny: The Porsche Cayenne has developed itself into a mainstay of the big, luxury SUV segment, and the introduction of the Diesel version to the Canadian market only solidifies that. This version features a turbocharged 3.0L V6 diesel engine that makes 240hp and a whopping 400 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough to have a little fun, while still maintaining great fuel economy numbers. Pros: Continues to exceed expectations through an unparalleled combination of handling, performance, and excellent torque. Cons: Sometimes a bit slow in revving, and at times experiences some turbo lag. The Verdict: The Cayenne continues to lead the pack in its segment, and once again receives two thumbs up from the people at this office. 28 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
FEATURE - SPRING CLEANING
Prepare your car for the driving season Story and photos by Budd Stanley
et another long, harsh winter is finally starting to subside, the sounds of birds and lawnmowers fill the air while pollen begins to drift. The snows have melted, the sun has come out, and people are starting to leave their winter dens. Spring Cleaning is here, and guess what, you shouldn’t just be thinking of your house and yard when it comes to cleaning up after winter.
Wash After a long winter, our vehicle’s paint surface is subjected to a massive amount of abrasive and corrosive debris. A good wash with a dedicated vehicle soap is required, but make sure you give the wheel arches and the underbody a good healthy spray as well, to wash away as much salt and dirt as possible to help prevent future corrosion. In many cases, washing just isn’t good enough. To get as much road grime out of the paint as possible, using a good clay bar product will clean the surface down to the microscopic level, purifying the paint. Once it is clean of all contaminants, a healthy wax will shield the paint from these imperfections. However, wax does not last forever, and I try to give my car a good waxing once a month with a spray-on wax like Auto Glym Aqua Wax or Surf City Garage Barrier Reef Spray Wax.
Your vehicle has had a hard go of it over the winter, subjected to corrosive chemicals, damaging debris, and getting little in the way of cleaning treatment for several months. So, like your yard, dust off the car and prep it for driving season, because the cleaner you keep it, the longer it will last. So like so many, I headed down to Canadian Tire to pick up a handful of cleaners and replacements to restore this Corolla, which may not be the most prestigious vehicle out there, but Wipers like so many daily drivers, is in need of post-winter restoration. While we are cleaning the car, we might as well take care of a small housekeeping issue while we’re at it. Wiper blades deteriorate and become dangerously inefficient over time. Especially for the summer months, when rain is intermittent and a large build-up of road grime covers the windshield, you want good fresh wipers capable of cleaning that surface in the first couple of passes, so a fresh set of TricoForce wiper blades get installed. Tires and Wheels Other than the car’s paint,
At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013 29
FEATURE - SPRING CLEANING the next biggest thing people look at is your wheels and tires. Getting brake dust off aluminum wheels is an absolute must, as the chemicals react with the wheel’s finish, pitting and oxidizing it away if left to sit. As you can likely tell, these wheels have experienced this, so a good cleaning is in order; taking the wheels off and getting in behind to do a thorough job is best. Then, to help protect the wheel, I sprayed on ArmorAll Rim Protectant to create a shield between the surface and brake dust, as well as a good tire dressing to help make the tires look their blackest. Interior After several months of no cleaning, the interior was starting to get a bit nasty. Dirt was ground into the seats, rugs and even the door covers. With the Tub-O-Towels, I pulled a couple of wet naps out and went to work on the door cover to start, as it was the dirtiest. The results were quite surprising; despite being a relatively ecofriendly product, the cleaning towels stripped dirt off the doors just about as well as any solvent. When it came to the carpets and any stains in fabric surfaces, I turned to Turtle Wax Oxy Power Out, which did do a great job of thoroughly cleaning the fabrics. However, don’t work the product in too hard, as the tough bristles will damage delicate surfaces and even carpets. Headlights Last, but very much not least, we come to the final step in our spring-cleaning process, that of night vision. Firstly, we want to replace the bulbs in the headlights. No they are not blown, but bulb efficiency decreases over time and it was time to upgrade to a new set of modern lights that would light up the road in front as well as a new car. For this, I installed a set of Sylvania Silverstar bulbs, both high and low beams, to emit a powerful and fresh light. However, with modern lenses, this isn’t all that needs sorting. Thin clear plastic lenses have a nasty habit of hazing and yellowing, and these were no different. Here I take a lesson from the great all-knowing teacher of all things, YouTube. Yup, I watched a video where someone restored their headlights to new condition with nothing more than a cup of water, a cloth and toothpaste. Yup, you heard that right, toothpaste. With a small section taped off just to see the results, I spread a liberal amount of whitening toothpaste over the area to be polished, dipped a blue shop towel in water and went to work. After ten minutes of elbow grease, I was amazed with the results. While the photos don’t do the job justice, the toothpaste actually did polish up the lens nicely, removing the slight yellow tinge and all but the deepest of rock chips for a like-new finish. Twenty minutes and a tube of toothpaste later, my headlights were fully restored. With that, the car is clean, protected from the elements and ready for a full summer’s worth of driving. It’s important to give your car a good yearly detail, ideally just after winter, to keep it in peak condition, as well as providing a more enjoyable environment for those Sunday drives.
30 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
THE TRUCK GUY
Suspension Lift Kits
help to reduce the strain.
Handling: Adding truck suspension lift kits will undoubtedly raise the vehicle’s centre of gravity, resulting in less-stable turns. This is a common issue when installing lift kits, but is mostly just a matter of By Ian Harwood becoming accustomed to a vehicle’s urchasing a new or used truck is exciting. You can already see change in performance. yourself personalizing it to suit your needs. Believe me when I tell you, the truck is the cheap part. I have seen, over the years, people Legality: Some suspension lift kits are such a serious change to your spend upwards of $25,000 or more on customization. suspension system that they may One of the more popular things to do these days is installing a sus- not be legal. Check the suspension pension lift along with larger tires and wheels. Installing a suspension regulations within your province to lift requires some hard work, along with some mechanical experi- be sure. ence. If you’re going to tackle this yourself, here are a few things A Few Useful Accessories: Before installing a lift kit, it’s a you should know. good idea to first examine if any components will be affected by your Installation: Many manufacturers offer manuals for installing lift kits vehicle’s new height. Here are a few useful accessories that may onto certain vehicles; however, some installations are quite intricate, need to be upgraded: requiring some welding or cutting in order to add some necessary components. In this case, having a mechanic or a few knowledgeable Brakes: Stock brakes do not always accommodate larger tires, or will wear easily due to the added strain. friends around will help make the job go smoother.
Additional Modifications: Upgrading to taller tires also means that a number of components may require part upgrades or some tuning to compensate. For instance, a truck’s engine is tuned at specific gear ratios to propel the vehicle. When adding taller tires, the gear ratios must be changed accordingly, since the engine has to spin much larger, heavier tires. You will also be required to purchase a speedometer recalibration tool, so you have an accurate reading. Again, consult with more experienced individuals for further insight.
Drivetrain and Differential: Axles, gears, differential covers, lockers and more ensure that your drivetrain is up to par with your suspension. Replacement Parts: Longer Control Arms and Track Bars to compensate for the additional height of your truck. Shocks: For those taller lifts, longer shocks will ensure the smoothest performance both on- and off-road.
Highway Driving: Larger, wider tires can sometimes result in instability on roads or a noisy, uncomfortable ride, particularly at high Other Parts: Steering linkage, slip yoke, drive shaft length, uspeeds. Also, more aggressive off-road tires tend to wear faster on joint angle, and brake lines are all worthy of consideration before the highway and traction might not be as great as you would expect installing suspension lift kits. on wet roads. Search the internet. There are many sites which offer complete Weight: larger tires are heavier, which can put a lot of strain on your instructions on various suspension lifts. You can download a suspension, particularly if it is a stock suspension. Trusted, durable copy before you make the purchase, and know exactly what is suspension components and lighter aluminum wheels can sometimes involved.
32 At The Wheel RPM June / July 2013
The Quality Truck Accessory People
he pickup truck is, at its very core, a tool. While older trucks were nothing more than a bench seat cab with a box on the back, today’s trucks do so much more. Trucks, and for that matter, SUVs, are not only work trucks, they are family haulers, toy haulers, road trip and adventure vehicles; vehicles that have become an integral part of many of the things we do. In short, they have become a major part of our lives. Dee Zee’s motto, “Add more LIFE to your truck,” is quite fitting, considering just how important these vehicles have become in our day-to-day requirements. Despite the massive amount of versatility manufacturers build into today’s trucks and SUVs, there is always room to customize your particular vehicle to your particular lifestyle. And hey, that’s part of the fun, to fine tune your vehicle to be more efficient and make your life easier. Dee Zee got its start in 1977 when the founding owners, who ran a small chain of tire stores, began installing running boards as an addon business. Their supplier was having trouble keeping up with the demand during the popularity of the ‘70s custom van, so they started making their own. And the rest, as they say, is history. Dee Zee now employs over 900 employees, all based in Des Moines, Iowa, and is now one of the biggest producers of aftermarket truck and SUV accessories as well as OEM accessories. All products are built here on North American soil with 90 percent of supplied materials coming from American vendors, which can give you the warms and fuzzies knowing that when you purchase a Dee Zee product, you know it will be well built and will continue to fuel our Special Advertising Feature
The Quality Truck Accessory People economy. If you need a little more in the way of heart warming, Dee Zee comes through once again, by practicing green manufacturing techniques. Dee Zee reduces its carbon footprint through massive recycling efforts, material reductions and efficient manufacturing processes. They also work with vendors who are Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program participants for paper and cardboard products during packaging.
When it comes to designing new products, Dee Zee follows a ridged APQP system during development and manufacture. This ensures that all departments and suppliers are involved in the process from start to finish. Most new product ideas are developed internally in the R&D and marketing departments, but they regularly review ideas submitted from “non-employees.” Dee Zee takes great pride in providing their customers with a quality product at a fair value. Over 35 years of experience in manufacturing processes both as an original equipment supplier, and in the aftermarket, have required the company to follow a rigid set of quality standards. This means customers receive a high standard of quality excellence in every product line available.
Its line of quality products is a massive one. If you can bolt it to a truck or SUV, chances are, Dee Zee makes it. From toolboxes, Nerf Bars, Bed Rail Protection, Mud Flaps, Grille Guards, Fuel Transfer Tanks, Combo Tanks, Interior Storage, Hitch Accessories, Utility Ramps to a myriad of accessories for all trucks, vans and SUVs, there is a reason why Dee Zee is an industry leader.
One of Dee Zee’s hottest new products is the Invis-A-Rack cargo rack. Dee Zee first learned of this product from one of its employees who watched the Shark Tank TV show on ABC. The inventor, Donny McCall, refused to let the investors have the product because they wanted to produce it overseas in order to keep the cost down. Dee Zee contacted Donny, who agreed to let Dee Zee manufacture and market the system in North America. The result - Dee Zee started shipping in March of this year.
The idea is ingenious, essentially merging a ladder rack with the idea of flat packing. This cargo management system allows you to have a functional heavy-duty ladder rack that can be collapsed down into the bed rail casings when it’s time to turn the work truck into the family
taxi. Made from lightweight aluminum extrusions, the Invis-A-Rack is corrosion-resistant with black powder finish; high-quality mechanisms ensure durability while the system is capable of cradling 227 kg (500 lb) of cargo.
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vehicle for the job at hand. Later this year, Dee Zee will continue to introduce several exciting new products to its impressive lineup. Dee Zeeâ€™s new Flow Through Tailgate just started shipping this month along with a truly inventive new Bed Extender. In the coming weeks, it will also begin shipping its new line of Auxiliary Fuel Tanks. All are completely new lines for Dee Zee. So, if you want to learn more about Dee Zee and how its quality products can add life to your truck or SUV, check out the website at www.deezee. com. Here you can browse a wide range of products as well as gain additional product knowledge with helpful videos, product photos, Another great product from Dee information, part number lookup, and links to find a local dealer who Zee is its six-inch Oval Tube can provide professional installation. Steps that give owners of larger trucks that extra little step in confidence when entering and exiting the vehicle. Constructed with heavy-duty steel, the oval design features molded plastic end caps and rugged step pads that provide a non-slip surface. The durable 16-gauge steel is overlaid with the brilliant shine of stainless steel. Custom fit brackets are protected by textured black NRT (No Rust Technology) powder coat finish ensuring they will be the last steps youâ€™ll ever have to buy. Both these products are great ways to personalize and fit your
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A 1,000-horsepower Supra is rebuilt! Story and photos by Giancarlo Pawelec
Tossed aside is the factory engine, for a fully-built Titan Motorsports 3.4-litre stroker powerplant. The displacement has been bumped by 400cc, which to most might not seem like a great deal, but in reality is what allows for the four-figure power numbers. The Titan engine also received a set of their Stage 4 race heads complete with a portand-polish, HKS 280-degree camshafts, custom-cut valve stems, Titan cam gears, and all the essential hardware.
ithout question, the Toyota Supra is the iconic car for the tuner generation. Just like the Ford Mustang ‘Eleanor’ was to the older crowd in the epic car movie Gone in 60 Seconds, the Supra set the benchmark back when The Fast and Furious movie came out. Fastforward a decade, and this ’98 turbocharged sports car is nothing close to what it was when it left the factory. In fact, the entire build was overhauled from the ground-up to make it worthy of its legendary status. Once the head and block were mated together, a Full-Race twin scroll manifold was added, along with a massive GT4508R turInitially owned by a customer of Wicked C.A.S. in New Hampshire, bocharger. For big power, big boost is needed and that can only USA, the Supra started off as the twin-turbocharged sub-300 be achieved with a big bang thanks to six FIC 1150cc injectors horsepower coupe that everyone loves. Little by little, each piece dumping C16 race fuel. Cold air is fed into the cylinders via a came off only to be replaced by something bigger and better, Hypertune intake system while a giant GReddy four-row interor to the point of no return after nearly exhausting a budget of cooler drops the charge for boost. Exhaust gasses pass through $125,000 USD! Nazar Demir (of Wicked C.A.S.) recently pur- a race-style downpipe and into an HKS Ti system as either a chased the project, completing the circle that most builders have puff of smoke, or foot-long fireballs, depending on the conditions. with their projects, and now owns the rolling masterpiece. What truly sets this Supra apart from all others is not only the level of Handling all the electronic readings is an AEM V2 unit, essential restoration that it underwent, but rather what is under the hood. when running this much boost, while monitoring is done through a 36 Speed & Sound RPM June / July 2013
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at the front and wide 315/30 at the rear. Even in high gear, the rear tires break traction, sending Demir on an oversteer every time it can, as if to say, thank you or not. In the eye-candy department, only subtle changes have been made, including a custom carbon fibre front lip, all new OEM leather interior, TRD carbon fibre steering wheel, TRD 10,000-rpm tachometer, and a full paint re-spray of Toyota Quicksilver. For the audio/visual, Demir installed a Kenwood 7-inch head unit that controls JL Audio speakers and a subwoofer fitted in a Wicked C.A.S. “Magic Box.”
PLX 4-in-1 gauge that outputs boost, vacuum, fuel pressure, and oil pressure readings. Based on a Dynojet pull, this Mk4 Supra put down 1,065 wheel-horsepower at 31 psi (running on C16) and 749 lb-ft of torque. Even more impressive is that, unlike other high-horsepower Supras running automatic gearboxes, Demir pilots this beast with a new V169 six-speed transmission! Capable of holding the power is a triple-plate RPS carbon clutch, which does the job just fine. Putting the power down to the pavement is another feat altogether, as any car making four-digits of power doesn’t play well on the road. In order for the Supra to stay planted, a set of HKS Hipermax coilovers were installed, along with a pair of Titan Motorsports adjustable sway bars (front and rear). The chrome rollers you see fitted are a set of 19-inch 845R pieces from HRE Wheels sized at 9.5 inches up front and 11 inches in back. Wrapping them in the stickiest street-legal tire possible went in favour of Michelin Pilot Super Cup tires with 265/35
38 Speed & Sound RPM June / July 2013
After what had initially been a multi-year build process for a client, Nazar Demir can rest assured knowing that all his blood, sweat, and tears have not gone to waste. As many in the industry know, it is not often that a builder gets to keep his or her work, let alone one as immaculate as this 1998 Toyora Supra. Maybe it was fate that brought the car back to its builder, or not, but one thing is for certain – with over 1,000 horsepower at the wheels, this Quicksilver Supra could one day break the space-time continuum!
Grass Roots Boom!
Story and photos by Dave MacKinnon
ack when I was getting into the car audio industry, a mere 27 or so years ago, we would print out a couple of hundred flyers for any crank-it-ups we were hosting and put them on windshields at high schools and hand them out at other events in the area. This is old-school marketing, and I was recently witness to a classic example of this working to perfection! Back in January, I was approached by one Mr. Yuli Sergeivich about assisting with an SPL event he had planned for May 11 in Toronto. Yuli is the administrator of a Facebook group called Ontario Bass Society, and is well known for owning and helping others build insanely loud audio systems. Having known Yuli for many years, I offered to bring along some give-aways as prizes on behalf of Clarion, Wirez and Kinetik. Yuli went on to secure additional support from Importel with some Cerwin Vega products and he also got some product support from Orion. Yuli then teamed up with Ganesh Bharratt of Moonlite Sound to host the event. Moonlite Sound is located in an industrial plaza at the end of a court, off the end of a dead-end street North-East of the Toronto Airport â€“ a perfect venue to make some serious noise! As the date approached, everyone involved displayed the usual obsessive attention to the weather forecast, but at 4:00 pm on a sunny but cool Saturday afternoon, it all began and went off without a glitch! Moonlite Sound chose to simultaneously host a car show, bringing a crowd of Southern Ontarioâ€™s finest show cars into the mix to rest alongside some of the loudest audio 40 Speed & Sound RPM June / July 2013
systems. They had a DJ, free drinks and hired a guy to cook some awesome Jerk Chicken. In terms of the turn-out, it was amazing! There had to be about 50 cars to compete in dB Drag Racing and Bass Race and about the same number of cars for the Show n’ Shine! Several of the SPL systems broke the 155dB barrier, and a pair of them hit an impressive 156.2dB! A few local shops brought out some of their hard work to show off, and as there was another event happening on the other side of Toronto the same day, some cars showed up later on to hang out for a while. Every conceivable kind of car was in attendance – from old school hot rods and sport compacts to VIP and exotics. The local law enforcement dropped by – and even with cars parked everywhere, all the competitors and spectators were respectful, so they let us have our fun! It was great to see that with some careful planning, targeted promotion on Facebook and the enthusiasm of car and car audio lovers from all over Ontario and Quebec, a grassroots-style event like this can draw an amazing crowd! I hope it happens again soon!
42 Speed & Sound RPM June / July 2013
PERFORMANCE tack the world’s stages. Unfortunately, they jumped into Group B competition thinking, as most did, that AWD was reserved for tractors and would not be competitive. With Audi, Peugeot and Lancia building cars light years ahead of the traditional RWD cars, Toyota responded with the Celica Twin-Cam, which only saw success in Africa where it simply out lasted the rest of the competition. Toyota decided to take a different route when new rules for Group S were laid, choosing the short wheelbase, mid-engine platform of the MR2 that would prove an ideal candidate to take on the mid-engine Peugeots and Lancias on the tight twisting lanes of Europe.
Too Crazy To Race
Development began in 1985 under the code name of “222D” by Toyota Team Europe. Taking the AW11 chassis, TTE inserted a 503e racing engine (racing version of the iconic 3-SGTE) that produced an estimated 600 horsepower in a 2.2-litre turbocharged configuration and was capable of up to 1000 horsepower. With the success of the AWD cars, most MR2 222Ds were built with power directed to all four wheels. Rumour has it that ten developmental cars were built and one was crashed during testing, and at least two
A Collection of Stillborn Cars of Malice Story by Budd Stanley
ith any kind of top-flight motorsport, there inevitably comes a massive amount of R&D as well as prototyping, as manufacturers push the laws of physics and engineering to beat the competition. It requires forward thinking and many even build prototypes before a class is even announced to get the jump on the development. However, in some cases, while a new prototype is being developed for a still survive to this day (one at Toyota, one at TTE) as a reminder of certain class, rules are changed, or even the entire class dropped, the Group S category that never was. which leaves many stillborn race cars with nowhere to race. Lancia Delta ECV One of the largest groups of derelict race cars come in the form of While the MR2 222D was being developed, the Lancia Delta S4 was the Group S World Rally Championship that was axed just prior to winning everything in sight, and Lancia planned to be just as domiits introduction when the iconic Group B class (aka Killer B’s) was nant in Group S. The result was heavy development in turbocharging banned due to the sheer number of drivers and spectators dying at the hands of cars too fast to race. Group S was supposed to take over where Group B had begun, and while the class was supposed to be slower than the Killer B’s with smaller engine displacements, all the Group S Prototypes where pushing well over 600 horsepower. Most notably, the new rules allowed for only ten homologation copies, which meant that manufacturers were able to build rally cars that didn’t so much represent road-going versions, but had more in common with Le Mans prototypes. Three of these legendary cars still live to this day, all being securely housed for posterity at their prospective automakers’ museums. Toyota MR2 222D Back before Toyota’s unsuccessful foray into Formula 1, they were well known for building some of the most formidable rally cars to atSpeed & Sound RPM June / July 2013 43
PERFORMANCE and composite materials. The Lancia Delta ECV (standing for Experimental Composite Vehicle) had an almost psychotic appetite for carbon fibre, as nearly all the chassis utilized this or Kevlar to reduce weight to 930 kg. Even the wheels were built with a carbon fibre and aluminum honeycomb sandwich. Providing motivation was the legendary “Triflux” engine that utilized two exhaust manifolds on either side of the head to feed two turbochargers, while the pressurized intake charge was fed into the cylinders from directly above, thus having three manifolds, a triflux. The fruits of this labour saw the little 1.7-litre four banger throw over 600 horsepower to all four wheels, with some development cars using an experimental CVT transmission. As a science experiment, the ECV was breaking new ground, as prototype testing found that the car was said to be capable of achieving 200 km/h in a mere nine seconds and was so fast that those who saw it run, said the body seemed to stretch under acceleration. While working versions where made, by the time of the cancellation of the class, Lancia had already had a mock up of the ECV2, making use of a more compact body and sleeker silhouette that was nearly unrecognizable as a Delta. Audi Group S One of the greatest stories has to be that of the Audi Group S Prototype, called this as it had no official name. It had no official name because it was developed in such secrecy that the CIA and KGB wouldn’t have even known what the Germans were up to. Why is this? Well, at the closure of Group B, VW-Audi were getting ready to close up Audi’s rallying operations. A dedicated group of engineers, including one Roland Gumpert, (yes, that Gumpert) secretly developed a mid-engine Audi Group S prototype that would solve the Quattro’s Achilles heal, poor handling due to poor weight balance, as the big five-cylinder hung out over the front axles. Gumpert and his team developed the prototype in complete secrecy, not only from the competition, but also from the men signing their pay cheques. The level of secrecy needed was so great that the cars were developed at the Desna test facility in Czechoslovakia, in other words, behind the Iron Curtain. The car still used the beastly five-cylinder and was said to be pumping out over 1000 horsepower to all four wheels, although this time it was mounted behind the driver. Eager to get factory driver Walter Rohrl into the car, a test session was scheduled on some remote forest stages outside Salzburg, Austria. However, as word leaked out, press began to flood the area, so the Audi Sport crews turned back towards Germany. However, they really wanted to get Rohrl a go behind the wheel, and spontaneously stopped on a remote tarmac country road in Bavaria to let him get some impressions. Rohrl charged the prototype down the desolate road at 10/10ths, nearly 40 km before he came up on anyone. That someone happened to be two cops. Pulling up and asking if they were working with Audi to keep the area clear, they replied “No, we just heard you coming for the last ten minutes and wanted to see what showed up.” They let him go with no infractions so long as he did a racing start for them. Only in the good ol’ days, eh! Unfortunately, an inquisitive photographer found the road and managed to get a shot of the car that was printed in an Austrian magazine a few days later. It didn’t take long for word to reach Ingolstadt, and the very next day, Ferdinand Piech had the team destroy all prototypes in front of his own eyes. That is, all official prototypes. Today, one prototype is on display at the Audi museum, while it is said another unofficial car is said to be out in the wild somewhere. Perhaps Mr. Gumpert might know more about that? 44 Speed & Sound RPM June / July 2013
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We may sell insurance, but we live classics.
A Rare, Sexy Beast Looking back at Turbine-powered concepts
Story and photos by Cam Hutchins aving owned a car as a teenager that was just one of six built could H have influenced Bob Brody’s choice of what car to restore, but to restore such a rare car would take more than just patience and determination - it would take deep pockets. This is a tale of how a 1967 Chevrolet SS 427 `Z24`came to be owned and restored by someone in Canada, where the 1967 `Z24`package was never offered new from Canadian Dealers. In October of 1966, Bob’s brother originally ordered a new 1967 Impala SS convertible with the L36 385-horse 427 and Muncie M-20 wide-ratio fourspeed. He picked it up from Collier’s GM on Georgia Street in Vancouver in February 1967, and with a new marriage coming along, decided to get a Buick ragtop and little brother Bob Brody got the Impala SS. He drove the car and looked after it carefully until he traded it in for a new 1972 Dodge Charger. Many years and cars later, another special car came along, and after full restoration, his 1969 Hemi four-speed Charger went across the auction block at the Barrett Jackson California Auction. With a fistful of dollars, it was time to restore his old Impala SS if he could find it. Interestingly, the L36 385-hp engine was only used in 43 Impala SS convertibles (in Canada), but to muddy the waters, this number also includes Pontiac Parisienne 2+2 models. So, manual transmission or automatic, this is one rare beast. Finding out it was a rare beast was turning out to be a big problem, as he did not want to go to the expense of restoring just a clone of the original car, and he started to look at cars in the States. The car his brother ordered was 46 Rods & Classics RPM June / July 2013
available in greater numbers than just six, but he also found an extremely rare car that was never offered to Canadians back in the day. While searching for a car, he came across the SS427 website and started to learn about the “Z24” package and found one for sale by its third owner in Indiana. With a VIN number identifier of “4D,” the Chevrolet SS427 of 1967 has no indication of it being an Impala. The 4D package included an SS427 badge on the centre of the front grille and on each front fender ahead of the front tire. The hood is very distinctive with a single row of three chrome “boxes,” affectionately known as a “Cyclops” hood. The rear of the car has the name Chevrolet but nothing about its obvious Impala lineage.
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The body was restored to perfection with all door gaps aligning perfectly, and many hours were spent restoring the firewall and top-of-firewall cowl, as no NOS parts were available. The original paint code was N for Madeira Maroon and a base coat/clear coat of the correct colour was used. The power roof mechanism had many pieces donated from a parts car Gary Grant had on hand from a previous 1967 Impala project and were hand-sanded and restored to perfection. The N1 white convertible top was sourced from the original supplier of roofs to GM back in the day that is still in operation. The interior is faithfully replicated to match the original and the push button AM radio has the optional rear speaker and rear antenna. There is a “Super Sport” badge on the right side of the dashboard. Rally Sport wheels with the correct date codes were NOS as well as the NOS Firestone G70x15 Redwall bias ply tires. Immediately after finishing the car in October 2012, it participated in the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Chicago. Along with winning the All 4D cars come with heavier 11/16-inch front sway bars and an optional heavier rear sway-bar and a distinct side moulding. Oddly, front disc brakes were still optional and the choice of wheels and hubcaps was at the buyer’s request. The car from Indiana offered at $3,000 seemed too good to pass up, so after an additional $2,000 of shipping, it was at Gary Grant’s shop in Maple Ridge, B.C. The car was rough and had been mostly dismantled with most of its Z24 parts going to a create a Z24 clone out of a 1967 Bel Air by the previous owner. The second owner had removed the 427 and four-speed and sold them to a hot rod guy on the East Coast. Armed with the hot rodder’s name and the internet, Brody found out the hot rod project had failed and the engine and tranny were sitting in his shop unused. A deal was struck and another piece of the puzzle came into place.
Floyd Garret Museum award for Best of Show, it got a Gold Certificate and received 985 out of a possible 1,000 points. Of course, NOS parts are great but they have to be the correct ones and the wrong Rally Wheel “rings” cost four points. Two points were deducted for two bolts under the car being unpainted, as well as two points each for marks on the original SS427 The body of the car was a mess and needed full restoration with as many centre grille badge, a buff mark on a piece of trim, missing spark plug wire NOS (New Old Stock) parts as were available, as opposed to used or worse hold-down clips, and one point for dust on the engine. reproduction parts, so he spent a lot of time on the internet finding the right parts. One fellow in Maryland has a huge amount of Impala NOS parts, Now that those glaring imperfections have been sorted, it is time to drive her, so a shipping pod was sent to his location. Brody flew to Maryland to buy right? Wrong. She has only eight miles on her from a trip to a gas station about 200 parts and load the container, which was shipped to Bellingham, and is probably destined for a couple of years of car shows before tearing it up on the road. Do not despair...having bucket loads of spare parts not Washington and then loaded onto a trailer to come to Canada. quite perfect for the show car has led to a new project. New front fenders, inner fenders, mirrors, trim, grille and all sorts of parts were being stockpiled. Some parts were also bought from another fellow in Wisconsin and of all the NOS parts, the cheapest was the screw used Having found a 1967 Impala SS in Calgary that was originally sold at Courto hold the rearview mirror in place (standard to most 1967 Impalas) and tesy Motor Sales in Winnipeg that has a very decent body, a restoration is $2,500 for the lower rocker moulding only used on the SS427 4D models. proceeding on it, and it will be a driver. About $40,000 of NOS parts were used on this car. Even better, it is nearly identical to Bob’s original car but will get the red Meanwhile, the engine and transmission were rebuilt and the rear end that interior and black roof of his first car, and it is a four-speed, putting Brody was still in the rear of the frame was hauled off for a full rebuild, as well. The frame was salvageable and garnet blasted and repaired and hand-sanded and then painted, not powder coated, to be more authentic. Interestingly, both the very desirable S40 15/16-inch front sway bar and S41 rear sway bar were still attached to the frame and in good shape. The car was mostly dismantled, but the all-important cowl tag was present. When the front fender was removed on the driver’s side, there was a white chalk marking of “SRD,” indicating that it was a “4D’ car with the optional rear antenna; this told the assembly line crew where to drill the holes on the body for the correct badges and antenna placement.
in the rare position of owning two of the six 427 four-speed Impala SS convertibles produced in Canada. Topping it off, its build date is January 17, 1967, so it may have been produced at the same time as his first car. With summer approaching and his “road” car almost done, the only bad thing that could possibly happen is for the original car he and his brother owned to show up with a ‘for sale’ sign....or is that a bad thing? One can never have too much of a rare thing!!! 48 Rods & Classics RPM June / July 2013
HISTORY PLUGGED IN
The origins of Ferrari’s Prancing Horse Story and photos by Budd Stanley, additional photos courtesy of Ferrari
he world first saw the insignia of the prancing horse do battle at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, as Enzo Ferrari entered two Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 MMs bearing the prancing horse. The cars would finish the event with a one-two domination of the podium. However, the 1932 Spa 24-hour race was not the first time the prancing horse saw the heat of battle. The emblem was quite often found in the violent skies above northern Italy. Fifteen years prior, Italian ace Count Francesco Baracca adorned his SPAD fighter with the prancing horse when he shot down 34 AustroHungarian foes.
Baracca was your typical aristocrat who dabbled in hunting and equestrian sports in his free time while attending the Military Academy of Modena. However, as a cavalryman, Baracca was drawn to the new age of flight and soon found himself in the skies posting Italy’s first aerial kill against the Austro-Hungarians. As a tribute to his former cavalry regiment, he painted a black prancing horse on the side of his fighter. Baracca would rise to become a celebrity thanks to his exploits in the air, becoming Italy’s greatest ace pilot during the war, as well as his compassion for those he shot down. He was known to give his condolences to enemy pilots he wounded while they were in hospital, and even laid wreaths on the graves of those he killed. However, Baracca was shot down himself from small arms ground fire during a strafing run in mid-1918, found with a bullet in his head from his own pistol, choosing to take his own life rather than burn to death in the crash or be taken prisoner. Baracca’s death hit all of Italy hard as he had become a national hero and received a funeral and monument worthy of such. However, the famous prancing horse that adorned Baracca’s plane soon faded into history along with the man who carried it. However, it would not be forgotten. In 1923, Enzo Ferrari had been racing for Alfa Romeo for three years and won a local race in Ravenna. It was here that he met Countess Paolina, mother of Count Francesco Baracca. It was here that the Countess asked Ferrari to adopt Baracca’s prancing horse as his own insignia to pay tribute to the fallen hero. It was even said that the Countess might have even donated the actual insignia cut from the remains of Baracca’s crashed plane. Ferrari agreed and implemented the prancing horse, or Cavallino Rampante, into his own racing insignia. He made some slight changes to the horse, lifting the tail, rather than Baracca’s horse that had the tail down. He also made the horse black, as Baracca’s Rods & Classics RPM June / July 2013 49
HISTORY PLUGGED IN hood badge for Ferrari’s road vehicles, with the Scuderia shield sitting on the rear of the front fenders. Ironically, the prancing horse on a yellow background is not a new idea, as the city of Stuttgart, Germany has a very similar crest, which just happens to be the home of two of Ferrari’s largest rivals, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, who also use a prancing horse on a yellow background for their emblem. Rumour has it that Baracca chose this design out of respect for a Stuttgartbased foe he shot down during the war, who had the prancing horse insignia on his plane before Baracca. Regardless, the Cavallino Rampante remains one of the most well-regarded insignia in modern corporate branding. Even if Ferrari has now become a mass marketing machine determined to paste the insignia on anything that can be sold for money, the squadron did with the loss of their commander rather than the history of the prancing horse can never be tarnished and will red as it had been while he was alive. He placed the horse on have an honourable and significant story behind it. a shield with canary yellow background, as this is the colour of the city of Modena, and added red, white and green stripes across the top to represent the Italian flag as well as “S” and “F” below the horse to stand for “Scuderia Ferrari.” Ferrari raced with this insignia during his time at Alfa Romeo, then registered the Cavallino Rampante as an official trademark when he started Ferrari. The shield was retained for the racing team, Scuderia Ferrari, while a vertical rectangle-shaped design would become the
50 Rods & Classics RPM June / July 2013
Megalomania By Nigel Matthews
he last thing I expected to see at the Bonham’s Auction in Scottsdale, AZ was a 400-plus horsepower, V8-powered, 1963 MGB drag racer. It actually took a while, and a couple of double takes, to sink in that it was really an MGB and to top it off, it was built in England. Drag racing arrived in the UK during 1966. Europe’s first permanent drag racing facility was built on the disused RAF (Royal Air Force) base, designated USAAF Station number 109, in Podington, Bedfordshire. The track was named Santa Pod Raceway. The name comes from the Santa Ana strip in the USA and the local village of Podington, hence Santa Pod. Some 47 years later, the track is still there and remains the fastest all-asphalt (no concrete starting line) drag strip in the world.
a Muncie four-speed transmission and an Oldsmobile axle. The MGB known as “Megalomania” was the creation of Keith Sales, a former jet engine mechanic-turned-Jaguar specialist, having cut his By the time the car was fully developed and sorted out, it was making teeth in standing quarter-mile racing. Sales decided to build his own 12.5-second runs down the strip, but its racing days were short-lived and all over by 1968. I suspect it found its way to the USA in an Air Force special. freighter with Watcher. He enlisted the help of two U.S. Servicemen, John Watcher and Jack Ferris from the nearby U.S. Air Force base in Bentwater. Watcher also Owen Gibson, the current owner, told me that he had discovered the car helped to finance some of the project and took the 396 cid engine out in a scrap yard near Tuscon, Arizona. After a little research, he realized he had stumbled upon Megalomania and decided to buy it and return of his personal car, a 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS. it to its former glory. A local fibreglass repair company fabricated and crafted a one-piece rear section and roof to the MGB midsection and made a one-piece hood The estimated sale price was somewhere between $35,000 and $45,000; it did not meet Gibson’s reserve and did not sell. During the time I spent that had a striking resemblance to the front of a Jaguar E-Type. with him, he seemed so passionate about the car, so I doubt that he The front suspension remained MG, using heavier-rated BMC truck was disappointed that it did not sell. For more pictures, visit http://www. springs and shocks. The power was transmitted to the asphalt through t2vrestoration.com/T2V_Gallery.php
Pontiac CF 428 concept ahead of its time By Nigel Matthews
s an avid automotive historian, discovering a new car is about as exciting as a child opening their Christmas stocking.
I came across my most recent find at the Glenmore Gathering in Canton, Ohio. As soon as I saw the 1969 Coggiola Farago CF 428 prototype, I knew that this was something quite special.
The Pontiac-based car was designed by Paul Farago, an Italian living in Detroit.
Imagine the luck that at just that moment, it turned out that I was standing next to a retired Advanced Vehicle Engineer and test driver for Firestone Development from Akron, Ohio, who went on to develop the run-flat tire for the presidential limousines and the tires for the moon vehicle.
During his early days, he worked as an engineer at Chrysler and was inspired by his friend Virgil Exner, the man who ran the Dual Motor Company in Detroit and manufactured the Dual-Ghia cars.
John Pollack told me that the Firestone LXX was to be the first run-flat tire and was originally to be fitted to a Lincoln until they had a change of heart and decided that installing Michelin’s new Radial tire would have a greater impact.
Farago assisted with the design of the Maserati Ghibli, and that car’s long hood had to be influenced by the earlier Farago-designed CF 428.
The LXX wheel and tire package was fitted as original equipment to the Stutz Blackhawk in 1971, after which, the cross-ply, run-flat Firestone died a quiet death.
The C is for Coggiola, and F is for Farago, concluded by 428 (cid), for the fitted Pontiac engine.
Pollack told me that the remaining supply of wheels and tires were sold to Firestone dealer and racing hero Parnelli Jones, who sold them off to various customers.
Everything on this car points to aerodynamics, right down to the pointed nose, door handles and stunning door mirrors.
The photographed car now belongs to Frank Campanale of Michigan, who sits on the board of Detroit’s College of Creative Studies.
It was such a treat to be standing in front of this car and trying to figure out why the Firestone LXX tires (Roman numerals for 70) had such large tapered side walls and the wheels so thin.
Nigel Matthews is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Hagerty Canada. Hagerty is the world’s leading provider of classic car and boat insurance. Contact him at email@example.com or visit www.hagerty.ca
The door handles were a giveaway that this car was influenced by an Italian designer.
Rods & Classics RPM June / July 2013 51
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52 Rods & Classics RPM June / July 2013
ProCharger i-1 Supercharger for 5.0L Mustang The i-1 Supercharger from ProCharger will completely change the market for centrifugal superchargers. It features a revolutionary variable boost control system which allows drivers to vary and control the boost output of the supercharger in 500 RPM increments. Also featured is its hybrid-drive transmission system that varies the supercharger drive ratio which affects boost output via a programmable interface. The driver can choose between 3 main settings for the system; competition, sport, and touring. For more information please go to www.procharger.com
Airaid MXP-Series Cold Air Intake for 2013 Scion FR-S Airaid has recently released a new MXP-Series Cold Air Intake System for the 2013 Scion FR-S. The system starts with an intake tube that provides a large, smooth path for the cold air to be directed and the tube also has the option to delete the factory sound tube. From there, the new sealed cold air box uses the factory cold air inlet to ensure there is plenty of cool air for a massive 1300cfm air filter. The air box is capped with a lid that keeps hot air from the engine compartment out while allowing easy access to the filter.
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Spyder Auto Projector Headlights Enhance the look of any vehicle with the Spyder Auto Projector Headlights. The Projector Headlights will illuminate the road better, allowing the driver to see more and have a safer driving experience at night. The headlights come in many different styles such as classic halo projectors, and the all new DRL projectors which use the popular Audi R8 style LED lights that will vastly improve the appearance of any car. The headlights are available in a wide variety of colours. For more information please go to www.spyderauto.com
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Rods & Classics RPM June / July 2013 53
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Exactly what we need, more distractions behind the wheel.
Who needs a fancy truck when you have a subcompact?
All the important stuff is still there so it should be fine.
54 Rods & Classics RPM June / July 2013
Another person bringing new meaning to the term ‘car pool.’