Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fiesta Rally Package now offered by Ford

   SEMA 2010 is bringing in a lot of interesting and exciting news, however some of the coolest news has to be the announcement of a Rally package that is being introduced to the Ford Fiesta.

   Mikko Hirvonen, Jari-Matti Latlava and Ken Block are not going to be alone for long, because anyone and everyone can now buy an R2 rally kit to transform their once civilized grocery getter into a full blown rally racer that would make their inner child proud. The kit was previously only available throughout Europe, however,  Fords promise of a global platform comes with promising modifications for rally enthusiasts.

   M-Sport, which has been working with Fords WRC division since 1997 to finely tune the rally breed that Ford boasts, created this awe inspiring kit. The kit will convert a stock Fiesta to rally Spec. The stock engine which is a 1.6-liter Ti-VCT four-cylinder engine will be upgraded with racing spec parts that will include: pistons, conrods, camshafts, valve springs, injectors, airbox, air filter and a sump baffle kit. All of these enhancements will help the Fiesta to deliver 168 horsepower and 134 lb.-ft. of torque,which is quite an increase over the production Fiesta.

   Some of the other parts included in the kit include:
• Five-speed Sadev sequential gearbox with flat shift gear cut
• T45 steel multipoint roll cage 
• Reiger adjustable dampers with Eibach springs
• Ventilated disc brakes with AP four-piston competition calipers

   Team O’Neil Motorsports is the only official reseller and installer that is authorized to work with the R2 kits. Only the Fiestas that are prepared by Team O'Neil Motorsports will be eligible for the U.S. Fiesta Sport Trophy Championship.

   The news of this kit may make you want to run out and purchase said kit, however you may want to save up a little first. People looking to buy this kit will have to spend around $30,000 (fiesta included in price) in order to become a rally superstar....or at least try to become one.

Author: Brad Roy

Monday, November 1, 2010

End to an Era.

Rest In Piece

   A well known brand officially closed down yesterday after struggling to stay afloat. Although Pontiac has unofficially been axed for over a year, yesterday the final call was given and Pontiac was officially shut down.

   Unlike Saab, which was sold to Spyker; a Dutch super car maker, the decision was made to end Pontiac altogether along with its sister brands, Saturn and Hummer. It seems that Automakers are shutting down brands that they view as unneeded in order to restructure their faulting divisions. Even successful automaker  Ford, which made 2.6 billion dollars in April through June, has made the decision to axe Mercury after declining sales in order to focus more on its new global format and expansion of Lincoln. Pontiac however, was not buried in order to focus on better things.

  After declaring bankruptcy and taking loans from the U.S government (which it has still not paid off despite its claims) GM announced that it would be closing 3 of its brands and selling off Saab in order to restructure their company. It is sad to see such brands axed because of poor decisions made by rich people. Pontiac could have been successful and thriving, however its knight in shining armor arrived too late.

   The G8 which was the first high horsepower hero to be met with exceptional reviews arrived too late, as did its brother, the Soltice. Both were due to be cult classics but were never given a chance, which is quite a shame. The G8 is quite a head turner and I can say in all honesty that I do a double take every time I see one pass. One can not help but wonder what could have been with Pontiac, but one will never find out. The end to a car brand always comes too soon, but in this desperate time and broken economy, it can not come soon enough for a struggling automaker.

Author: Brad Roy

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mansory strikes a third time.


   I never thought I would be writing so much about Mansory, but it seems as if they keep catching my attention with their elaborate plans for revamping cars. This time around it involves a very well known car, the Bugatti Veyron.

   Mansory's track record isn't that great when it comes to their finished product of "custom" cars. As shown in the above story, their projects haven't come out looking that well. I'm not saying that their revamp of the Bugatti Veyron is perfect and better than a stock Bugatti, but it is not nearly as bad as their rendition of the Panamera and Range Rover Sport. In fact, it is a lot better than any of their previous attempts.

   With the Veyron, Mansory has added a new front fascia with LED's integrated into the lower grille. It features new front fenders and larger carbon fiber rocker panels. In fact, it looks as if a lot of carbon fiber was added to the Veyron. New dark bronze wheels were also equipped which help set of the styling and dark tone of the car itself. Not only did they style the outside but they also put the inside under the knife. From far away it almost looks as if a high school girl bedazzled the steering wheel and door handle surrounds, which is unsettling at first. Upon further inspection though, it looks as if they used a woven mesh and leather combination. The interior this time around is kept down to two primary colors unlike the other Mansory renditions and splashes of carbon fiber are used tastefully rather than over the top.

   All in all, this time around, Mansory has done well. They haven't overdone it too much and kept it much more tasteful than their previous attempts. It still is not to my liking but due to the fact that only 3 are supposed to be made, millionaires will be all over it. No price has been given yet but I am sure that it will be vastly out of my price range. Although I feel like if I had the money for the Mansory edition (also called the Vencero) I would still opt for a regular Veyron, or maybe the Super Sport. No thank you Mansory, nice try but I will stick to my price range.

Author: Brad Roy

Saturday, October 23, 2010

2012 Ford Focus ST


   The new and highly anticipated 2012 Ford Focus was revealed to the public last year and recently at the Paris Motor Show, so was the new Focus ST. With a fresh and redesigned front bumper, rear bumper with center exit exhaust, Sparco seats, and a 2.0 litre EcoBoost engine sporting 249 horsepower, this car is the definition of a hot hatch. Its stance is aggressive and the interior is beautiful and flowing creating an all around great 5 door hatchback. Pricing has not yet been revealed, however, it is speculated to be around $24,000. Now that's a good buy.

Mansory Strikes Again.


  It looks like the first round of Mansory make overs wasn't bad enough so they have decided to try their hand in it again. This time around they set their sights on the prestigious Range Rover Sport. Their second shot at customization is not nearly as bad as their first (see picture below), but i does cause just as much ill will at first sight.
Mansory's first attempt.

  Although it does not seem to be disgustingly over exaggerated it does lack certain fluidity throughout the front bumper to the doors. Although I am always a fan of carbon fiber accents, the hood and pillar accents seem out of place and over the top. The exterior in retrospective is not all that bad, it's the interior that really kills it.

   A terribly contrasted steering wheel, a disgustingly odd shade of brown, and the Mansory emblem tagged on the dash and seats creates all but a warm and welcoming environment. The colors seem over the top, which is the same mistake that Mansory made with the Panamera. Rather than using simple accents and tones that would add to the look of the interior they have doused the poor car with splashes of brown and an odd off yellow color. Its as if a perfectly good fur coat was doused in blood by a crazed animal activist then later sold as a custom coat. This Range Rover is all but beautiful, which is truly a shame. The Range Rover was treated to a makeover for the 2011 year. It was given a 4.4 litre TDV8 engine and an 8 speed gearbox. However these factors are overshadowed in this "custom" edition due to some major flaws. It may just not be my cup of tea but something about this car rubs me the wrong way. And its starting to look as if Mansory is getting away with murder.

EDIT: Mansory strikes a third time! This time with the Bugatti Veyron (see post above)

Author: Brad Roy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Cat is looking to catch the Mouse....Again!

There's a new contender ready to take on Bugatti.

Bugatti Veyron SS
As if Bugatti was holding on to the speed record it claimed with the Veyron just a little too long, SSC is looking to snatch it again. This time around it involves an unnamed super car SSC has conjured and the Bugatti Veyron SS, which now boasts almost 1,200 hp and a new, and staggering, top speed of 267 mph. That vast power is all thanks to the 8 liter, 16 cylinder engine which comes standard with quad turbochargers.

 After years of silence however, SSC has emerged with a contender. A sleek looking, but still unnamed super car that will unleash 1,350 horsepower. Looks like the Veyron and Mr. X will be pretty evenly matched huh? Wrong. The first Ultimate Aero by SSC, which originally held the speed record for a production car, weighed a third less than the Veyron does. Yet it lacked the hp and traction control it needed to beat out the Veyron even with the track inspired weight. Excessive wheel spin through the first 3 gears may have partially led to the title being stolen by Bugatti. This time around though, things are different. The scale is tipping in the favor of SSC's new, and still unnamed villain.
The new, unnamed SSC super car. Ready to fight.

Not only will the SSC hope to break the record with style, but with class as well. It seems as if this time around driver aids are being added as well as aerodynamic improvements and even more weight shedding. Seems as if SSC decided to put the Ultimate Aero on a diet and plenty of steroids. Its still unknown as to what will happen and if SSC will once again claim the title, but it seems like there is a good chance Bugatti will have to give up what they fought so hard to get. Which I believe will go to a much better looking contender.

The SSC has a much sleeker look than the Veyron and resonates a more aggressive attitude. With sleek white color and a strong sloping front which leads to aggressive air dams and sharp angles on the rear, SSC has created something beautiful. The have created a monster but managed to keep him locked up and ready to pounce on an unsuspecting mouse.

Author: Brad Roy

Photos: Ripley and Ripley

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