Event: Roller Derby
A day at the dyno
*Dyno days are all about what your car can do. Anyone can dump money into a car, but making horsepower takes a little more planning and skill in execution. There are plenty of show cars with thousands of dollars in bolt-on parts that, on paper, should be putting out 400 wheel-hp. Then the owner finally gets up the nerve to put the car on the rollers, only to find out all his engine bling is good for a mere 250.
This is why european car jumped at the chance to help out with a recent dyno day held by Eurosport Accessories in Anaheim, California. Walk through Eurosport's shop and there are racecars and street cars built for performance. Customers browsing its website will see performance parts. No airbag suspension systems, no Lambo door kits-just stuff to make cars go fast. The surrounding area always turns into an impromptu car show, but it's more about poking around under hoods than checking out interiors reskinned in hideous fake designer fabrics.
One of the more interesting cars was a 1981 Rabbit Truck with a custom fabricated supercharger-it managed a respectable 260 wheel-hp even with loads of tire spin. A privately owned MkIII Golf VR6 turbo clocked 322 wheel-hp. But top dog was VF Engineering's MkV RSR GTI, putting down a staggering 388 wheel-hp.
Amid displays of power and performance, there was almost a party atmosphere. Several sponsors provided great prizes for an after-lunch raffle. AUTOart, builder of incredible diecast models, supplied a generous stack of 18-scale cars, plus one very special 12-scale Lambo to bestow on the car deemed the nicest built of the event by both ec and Eurosport. And Mothers provided a couple of cases of detail products. The most anticipated raffle, however, was for a brand new set of Nitto Invos.
The AUTOart 12-scale Lamborghini Anniversary Murcilago went to Mike Frechette. His MkII GTI is a home-built masterpiece, running standalone fuel injection and sporting several trick components sourced straight from Europe. We won't give too much away-you might see it in an upcoming issue. Andy Parravicini was the lucky winner of the Nitto Invos. We've run these tires on several of our own cars and have no doubt Parravicini will enjoy them.
Dyno days are for real gearheads who cringe at the thought of car shows, but still want to see some cool cars and hang out with like-minded people. We encourage readers to check out shows in their area. If you belong to club, you can even call a local dyno shop and set one up for a weekend. There are plenty worse ways to spend a Sunday.
Eurosport Accessories www.eurosportacc.com AUTOart www.autoartmodels.com Nitto Tires www.nittotire.com
Tuned: JE Design widebody Q7
Just one word can describe it: big
*The Audi Q7 is hefty, but nothing that 500 hp and 440 lb-ft can't shift. JE Design claims to have achieved these numbers by fitting a watercooled supercharger system, new exhaust from the manifolds back, modified engine management and reinforced internals such as specially forged pistons. The conversion also employs an exterior styling kit that incorporates fender flares, custom door panels, a rear fin, headlamps and a tailgate skirt. And there's a choice of wheels: JE Design '361' or Azev R, both in 10x22 format.
JE Design www.je-design.de North America: Rapid Parts www.rapidparts.com 845.352.1138 Pacificie.com www.pacificie.com 818.845.0040
Tuned: Nothelle TT
Two ways of crushing that 911
*Celebrating 40 years of tuning, Nothelle has turned to the new Audi TT with upgrades for both the 2.0T and V6, offering a sport suspension, new aerodynamics and new Novedra IX lightweight alloy wheels. The 2.0-liter turbo engine can benefit from four different performance programs, from a simple chip tune (adding 40 hp) to a complete rebuild (adding 130 hp). Nothelle also offers a fire-breathing twin-turbo set-up for the 3.2-liter V6, raising output to 520 hp and claiming a top speed of 191 mph.
Nothelle North America www.nothelle.com 415.229.3191
First Look:Bentley Continental GT Speed
The mental Continental
*Inspired by the legendary 'Speed' models that first appeared in 1923, the new Bentley Continental GT Speed is the most powerful production Bentley ever. And the first to top 200 mph. Its W12 engine develops nine percent more power (600 hp) and 15 percent more torque (553 lb-ft) than the standard Continental GT, while engine efficiency is optimized by the use of lower friction, lighter components and a new management system. The result is a top speed of 202 mph and a zero-to-60 mph time of just 4.3 seconds. Although the regular Continental GT remains pretty quick: top speed is 198 mph, and zero-to-60 mph happens in 4.6 seconds.
This model heralds a subtle new look for the Continental in general, with wider, lower air intakes and a more upright grille. Sporty design touches for the GT Speed include a dark-tinted grille and larger sport tailpipes. Complementing the car's high performance is a chassis tune with a lower ride height, sharper handling and greater agility. Springs and anti-roll bars are uprated, and the rear bushings are stiffer. Fade-resistant carbon ceramic brakes are available as an option. Both cars benefit from internal efficiencies to deliver reduced fuel consumption and emissions, both by around 3.5 percent. The GT Speed is available from December 2007 with an MSRP that's 10 bucks short of $200,000.
*This is the kind of arms race we like. In answer to the new BMW M3 having 414 hp, AMG has gone and put a 6.2-liter V8 engine into a Mercedes-Benz C-Class and given this small sedan 457 hp at 6800 rpm, with a mountainous 442 lb-ft of torque from 2000 rpm, just for good measure. With a power-to-weight ratio of 7.9 pounds per hp, the C63 AMG zips from zero to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds and is electronically limited to a top speed of 155 mph. AMG fans will be no strangers to the company's V8 masterpiece, as it powers much of its product, each one made by hand and signed by the engineer. Here it drives the C63's rear wheels via AMG's Speedshift seven-speed automatic transmission. This car is the first AMG to feature automatic throttle blipping on downshifts. It also sports a specially tuned suspension, lightweight and aerodynamic body panels, and 18-inch light-alloy wheels (19-inchers are an option). Like the new C-Class it's based on, the C63 had a previous life as a digital prototype, but has also received a grueling real-life test regime that took it from Death Valley to South Africa. If it's half as good as the CLK63 Black Series, it will still be brilliant. Expect it in the US in early spring 2008.
Ferrari 430 Scuderia
Speed of light
*The new Ferrari 430 Scuderia is a special high-performance two-seater berlinetta based on the F430 and aimed specifically at Ferrari's most sports-oriented clients. Much of the company's F1 know-how has found its way into the car, with a focus on light weight, minimum trimmings and innovative technology. It has a low, low weight-to-power ratio of just 5.4 pounds per hp. That's thanks to a low dry weight of just 2750 pounds (220 pounds less than the standard F430) and to the naturally aspirated 4308 cc V8's 510 hp at 8500 rpm. The latest F1 software-F1 Superfast-reduces gearchange times to just 60 milliseconds and a new traction control system combines the E-Diff electronic differential and the F1-Trac traction and stability control in a single integrated system for the first time. Money? Yes, it'll cost some, but we only need one kidney, right?