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Daihatsu has announced that Japanese owners of its tiny Copen (last sold in Australia back in 2006) will soon be able to change the looks of their small convertible by being able to order interchangeable body panels.

The new second body option is available as part of the car-maker's new Dress-Formation option program.

The changes from the standard body to the new look are extensive and include a new front and rear bumpers, headlights, tail-lights, grille, wings, sills and boot lid.

Customers will have the choice of ordering the entire kit for around $4000, or just the front or rear styling for about $2200.

Daihatsu’s new factory-developed body panel option is a reflection of an emerging trend within the car industry of offering unprecedented levels of customisation and personalisation.

In the future, thanks to the greater availability of new technology like 3D printing, buyers could become the chief designer of their own car.

 

Tell us what you think about this type of car customising, we'd be interested to hear your thoughts. MRT's facebook page - MRT's Twitter page.

MRT's new website can help you customise and fine tune your vehicle. 

 

Article and images as found at www.carsales.com.au

 Daihatsu interchangeable panels

If you're looking to get involved in some fun motorsport over this summer then check out the NSSCC Whiteline Tarmac Sprint Series.

The Subaru pairing of Molly Taylor and Bill Hayes, driving their Group N Production Class All-Wheel Drive Subaru WRX STI NR4, made the most of the drier stages to set consistently fast times over the day’s seven special stages.

As some of their championship rivals hit trouble, the Subaru do Motorsport pairing continued their assault on the championship title.

Subaru do Motorsport, Molly Taylor 1

Heavy rain in the days leading up to round four of the 2016 Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship forced organisers to make major alterations to the rally route, as many of the forest stages became unusable.

However, in fine and overcast conditions, and after overcoming an early electrical problem, Molly was eighth after the first stage, but fought back brilliantly to be second by day’s end.

Subaru do Motorsport, Molly Taylor 2

“Our strength so far this season has been our consistency, so we needed to play to that strength,” Molly said.

“Today’s stages were really enjoyable, especially the two night stages where we were able to make up some positions.

“The car has been great once again, and we’re looking forward to building on this result tomorrow.”

South Australia’s beautiful Barossa Valley proved the perfect backdrop for Molly’s Subaru, which for this event features a Murray River-inspired livery.

Subaru do Motorsport, Molly Taylor 3

Sunday’s second Heat will see competitors tackling a further six special stages on a mixture of shire road and forestry stages, before the podium finish in Mt Pleasant late in the afternoon.

The South Australian event is round four of the five-round 2016 Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship.

HEAT ONE PLACINGS (provisional)

  1. Reeves/Gelsomino, Subaru Impreza WRX, 56:25.8
  2. Taylor/Hayes, Subaru WRX STI, 58:36.5, +02:10.7
  3. Markovic/Macneall, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 58:38.5, +02:12.7
  4. Rodda/Langfield, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 1:01:48.8, +05:23.0
  5. Windus/Allen, Subaru Impreza WRX, 1:02:01.1, +05:35.3

 

Subaru do Motorsport, Molly Taylor 4

2016 KUMHO TYRE AUSTRALIAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

Round 5 – Kennards Hire Rally Australia, Coffs Harbour
17 - 20 November

Reproduced from www.subaru.com.au

Mazda’s board of directors has formally approved the design, engineering and production of the company’s long-awaited successor to the RX-7 and RX-8 rotary coupes, according to Japan’s Holiday Auto magazine which has also produced these new renderings.

Expected to be called the RX-9 — a trademark Mazda has registered — the born-again performance coupe is not due on sale globally until January 2020, when it will be the centrepiece of Mazda’s centenary celebrations.

Before then, the Mazda is likely to reveal a prototype version at the 2017 Tokyo motor show to mark the 50th anniversary of its first rotary model, before the final production model debuts at the 2019 Tokyo show.

Mazda RX9 Concept Pic 1

Apart from producing these three new renderings — which show a range of updates from the2020 RX-VISION concept revealed last October, including a sharper body-side surfacing and a more chiselled front-end design – Holiday Auto has reported a number of key new details.

As previewed by the SKYACTIV-R concept engine, Mazda’s next-generation rotary engine will grow to 1.6 litres by employing twin 800cc rotors displacing 1.6 litres. It’s speculated that the Mazda sports car will combine turbocharging and diesel-style HCCI compression ignition in a world-first application, made all the more significant by applying the advanced fuel-delivery and ignition technology to a rotary engine. Even if HCCI doesn’t happen, the SKYACTIV-R engine will feature recessed spark plugs for improved fuel efficiency, in keeping with the engine’s SKYACTIV name.

Mazda RX9 Concept Pic 2

Like us, Holiday Auto believes it will produce around 300kW, but the Japanese magazine says the RX-9 has a target weight of less than 1300kg, which will give it a formidable power-to-weight ratio.

Combined with the improved overall weight balance wrought by a rear transaxle, the low-slung rear-drive rotary coupe – which will be shorter than the rangy RX-VISION concept – should offer outstanding dynamics.

Fitted with a leather-lined interior and all of Mazda’s latest safety and convenience technologies, Holiday Auto says the two-seat Mazda sportster will be priced under eight million yen (about $A100,000).

MRT Power Kits for late model Mazdas, such as CX3, CX5, CX7, MX5 and MPS 3 & 6.

View our YouTube channel for tips and tricks on owning and maintaining a Mazda MPS 6.


Computer-generated images: Holiday Auto

Story: www.motoring.com.au

Toyota has announced a recall for the 14,906 units of the 86 sports car sold in Australia between April 9, 2012 and March 18, 2015.

The recall is related to the design of the car’s wiring harness for the electric power steering system. According to Toyota, plating of the steering system’s rotation angle sensor terminals wears down, and the accumulated debris oxidises. If the driver’s knee should push the kneebag cover upwards the steering system’s wiring harness moves with the cover, allowing the terminal to make contact with the non-conductive, oxidised debris. This results in power steering malfunction, although the steering remains operational without the power assistance.

 In the event of that occurring, a warning light will display in the dash, accompanied by an audible alert. Toyota is recalling all cars to have the steering ECU (electronic control unit) and wiring harness replaced. Parts for the recall – the power steering ECU and wiring harness – will arrive in Toyota dealerships from late next month, and owners will be individually informed by mail when the time is right to arrange for the car to visit the dealership. Toyota advises that the car will be off the road for a little more than an hour while the work is being carried out.

The fault, which affects only right-hand drive models with a knee airbag for the driver, has occurred 62 times in Australia, but without accident or injury resulting. Toyota recommends that drivers who experience this problem occurring – suddenly heavy steering – should pull over immediately and contact the nearest Toyota dealer for diagnosis and repair.

Toyota can be contacted via a helpline (1800 987 366) and customers are asked to have the vehicle’s 17-character identification number handy. The VIN is located under the driver’s seat.

See the road test results of the MRT big blower supercharger kit for the Toyota 86/ Subaru BRZ.

Check out a simple and neat oil cooler trick from MRT, for your 86 or BRZ.

 

As found at www.motoring.com.au

Toyota 86 Recall

Nissan GTR R35 Pic 1

On sale from this month, the Japanese brand’s new supercar bears the biggest set of changes since the R35 was launched in 2007 and introduced in Australia in 2009.

We’ll get to the finer specification details shortly, but in any case, they extra gear doesn’t come cheap. The entry-level Premium Edition’s price has climbed some $17,000 to $189,000 (plus on-road costs). Similarly, the middle-spec Premium Edition with Luxury Trim will set buyers back $18,000 more than before, at $195,000 (plus on-road costs).

Trumping both of those models on price and marching the GT-R into $200,000 territory for the first time is the new NISMO-engineered Track Edition that tops the line-up at $227,000, featuring the same front and rear suspension, forged wheels and front guards as the upcoming GT-R NISMO, which will likely feature a price tag close to $250,000 (plus on-road costs) when it finally materialises Down Under.

Nissan has justified the pricing premiums with what it believes is its most-rounded and dynamically-capable GT-R yet.

First and foremost, the car’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 has had power ratcheted up 15kW to 419kW overall. The peak torque figure of 632Nm is also available across 60 per cent of the rev spectrum. The engine teams with a carry-over dual-clutch transaxle.

The engine and cosmetic updates combine with a more rigid body structure, including increased structural rigidity of the windscreen frame and reinforcements around the boot. In addition, the car’s Bilstein adjustable shock-absorber system has been enhanced by a new valve housing and rigid attachment points – changes which culminate in either better cornering response or on-road comfort  depending on which of the three Normal, Comfort or R settings you’ve selected.

There are also some noticeable styling updates aimed at improving drag co-efficient, aiding engine cooling or generating more downforce at speed. They comprise a redesigned front bumper, under spoiler, new daytime running lights and an enlarged front grille up front, and a new silver-finish diffuser and side air-vents at the rear.

The changes are rounded out by an overhaul interior punctuated by a larger 8.0-inch screen, fewer physical buttons and switchgear and some trim updates.

While the GT-R has been subject to a significant price rise it still remains one of the more affordable supercars on offer, coming in at considerably less than rivals from Porsche and Mercedes-AMG.

Search MRT's online store for suspension, engine and braking parts for all model Nissan GTR's, as well as other popular late model Nissans such as Silvia, 350Z, 370Z and Pulsars.

Reproduced from www.carsales.com.au

Nissan GTR R35 Pic 2

Toyota has announced pricing for the upgraded 86 coupe we drove in Japan in August, including a new starting price of $30,790 plus on-road costs.

That makes the affordable Japanese sports car $800 more expensive than before at base level, which was previously a bargain-basement $29,990 and remains $2000 cheaper than its Subaru BRZ twin.

The first price increase since the popular compact coupe arrived in June 2012 also makes the entry-level GT auto $600 pricier (now $33,990 plus ORCs), while the premium GTS manual now costs $36,490 and the GTS auto costs $38,790 (up $300). Metallic paint continues to be a $450 extra.

As we've reported, the first major upgrade for the 86 brings minor design revisions at both ends, including LED headlights with daytime running lights as standard, plus a revised cabin.

There's also a small performance boost for manual models, which now offer increased outputs of 152kW/212Nm (up from 147kW/205Nm, which automatic versions continue to deliver) thanks to a revised intake/exhaust system, cylinder block and pistons for the 2.0-litre boxer four.

Manual models also score shorter final drive ratios, and fuel consumption is now rated at 8.4L/100km (manual) and 7.1L/100km (auto).

Chassis-wise, Toyota says retuned shock absorbers and coil springs plus a thicker rear stabiliser bar deliver improved stability, handling and ride comfort.

Otherwise, all models gain a new steering wheel and hill-start assist, while GTS variants score power/torque, stopwatch and G-force display functions.

The base GT rides on 16-inch alloy wheels and now comes with a ‘track’ mode enabling drivers to adjust the stability control threshold.

Meantime, the top-shelf GTS adds 17-inch alloys, a 4.2-inch TFT driver’s information display, steering wheel controls, rear spoiler and new suede-look ‘Grandlux’ dash trim.

"These updates for the Toyota 86 are focused on improving the responsiveness, balance and handling of a car that is already rated in the same league as some legendary sports cars," said Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb.

Sales of the Toyota 86 have totalled 17,817 over the past four and a half years, but fell from a high of 6706 in 2013 to just 3006 last year, and just 1801 have been sold to October this year.

So far GTS models have accounted for two-thirds of sales, with manuals comprising almost 60 per cent and white being the most popular paint colour.

2017 Toyota 86 pricing (plus on-road costs)
GT manual – $30,790 (+$800)
GT auto – $33,090 (+$600)
GTS manual – $36,490 (+$500)
GTS auto – $38,790 (+$300)

Find hundreds of engine, suspension and braking upgrades for your 86 & BRZ on MRT's latest website catalogue.

Enhance the power output of your 86 - click here to find out how MRT can help you!

Article reproduced from www.carsales.com.au

Molly Taylor has become the first woman to win the Australian Rally Championship, driving to victory in the series' final round at Coffs Harbour.

Subaru's factory-backed pilot, and a former member of the Drive team, made history on the final stages of Rally Australia by taking out the ARC on a drama-filled final day.

The Sydney-based racer's run to victory came as title rivals Simon Evans and Harry Bates faltered, opening the door to Taylor's unlikely victory at the wheel of a Subaru WRX STI with closer ties to production models than heavily-modified rival machinery.

Taylor also benefited from a final-day penalty to fellow competitor Mark Pedder that saw her and co-driver Bill Hayes elevated to first place, securing championship victory over fellow Subaru contender Simon Evans by just two points.

The result represents a landmark victory for Subaru, which returned to rallying in an official capacity in 2016 after withdrawing from the series several years ago.

Taylor, who served as a guest judge in Drive's 2015 Car of the Year awards, says the result is proof that "dreams really do come true".

"Talk about taking it down to the wire!" she says.

"We knew we had to give it everything on those last two stages after a really consistent run all weekend and we pushed so hard.

"And then to get the news that there was a possible penalty for Mark, it was like being on a rollercoaster.

"Bill, Les Walkden and the team have done an amazing job all year and it's such a pleasure to work with a truly professional outfit that has an amazing team spirit.

"We're so pleased to be able to do it for Subaru too, with their incredible rally heritage."

 Browse the new and improved MRT online parts catalogue for all your service and racing needs.

Drop by the MRT YouTube channel to check out some of our old rally action.

Article as can be found at www.drive.com.au

Written by David McCowen

Subaru has finally unveiled the STI version of the Levorg wagon, which does not offer more power, but only a few STI parts combined with a few styling and handling upgrades. Maybe that’s not what we expected, but overall it does not look bad at all.

Subaru Levorg STi

Starting with the exterior, the wagon features STI badging on the front and rear of the car, a new front bumper and grille, chrome exhaust tips, LED fog lamps and dark grey multi-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. The interior has been revised and now features STI Sport-specific Bordeaux and Black leather seats with STI logos embroidered in the headrests. There’s also dark-red contrast stitching on the console, steering wheel and gear lever plus STI door sill plates.
In terms of performance, the company left the already known engines, the 1.6-liter with 168 horsepower, and the 2.0-liter turbocharged unit with 296 horsepower. Both are paired exclusively to an automatic Lineartronic CVT with all-wheel drive.

Subaru Levorg STi

The Levorg STI Sport Wagon also benefits from uprated springs, a revised steering setup and a specially tuned version of Subaru’s DampMaticII variable damping suspension, for which we can say are the only true performance improvements.
The wagon comes standard with the security package that include the latest Subaru’s EyeSight safety system. It features stereoscopic cameras that monitor the road ahead and offer collision warning, autonomous braking, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

The Levorg STI Sport will go on sale this summer in Japan, while its arrival in other markets is unknown at this moment.

If you're interested in what MRT can do to improve the performance of your Subaru Levorg, visit our documentation HERE.

Originally published by www.carnews24.com

Subaru Levorg STI  Subaru Levorg STI    Subaru Levorg STI

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Mazda’s MX-5 has missed out scoring the full five stars (out of five) in recent Euro NCAP crash tests.

Despite receiving praise for its crash performance in front and side impact tests, the Mazda was denied the maximum five stars because it lacks safety equipment like autonomous emergency braking.

Missing out on the fifth star will be especially galling for the Japanese car-maker since Euro NCAP praised the little Mazda for its crash test protection, with Euro NCAP even awarding the little roadster a very respectable 93 per cent score for pedestrian impact protection thanks to standard-fit pop-up bonnet.

The disappointing score is not the first shock result in recent Euro NCAP history. Recently the Audi’s all-new TT also missed out on the fifth prestigious score for crash protection. Like Mazda, Audi also didn’t offer autonomous emergency braking.

As well as the little MX-5 roadster, Euro NCAP also tested the new Hyundai Tucson and the little Opel Karl (known as the Vauxhall Viva in the UK) city-car.

The new Hyundai SUV received the full five-star rating, scoring high marks in all areas. Perversely, despite autonomous emergency braking being an option for the Tucson, crash testers ignored it because of expected low buyer uptake, but such was the performance in other areas the Hyundai still bagged the fifth star.

GM’s European brand, Opel, didn’t fare quite as well. The Karl matched the Mazda MX-5 in only scoring four out five stars after the crash tests revealed in front offset crash tests the driver’s head was shown to ‘bottom out’ on the airbag. A side impact pole test also saw poor chest protection and a risk of the driver ‘submarining’ under their seatbelt causing knee and leg injuries was also identified.

By John Mahoney
www.motoring.com.au

Did you know MRT can custom tune the factory ECU of the NC MX-5?

See how EcuTek can improve your MX-5.

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Subaru Australia wants to sell this car Down Under. But it needs to do more homework – and for you to buy more Foresters.

Subaru Tecnica International’s (STI) latest bespoke model, the S 207 is a powered-up and hunkered down WRX STI-based limited edition that is as close as you’re likely to get to a road-going Nurburgring 24-hour racer – at least with a Subaru badge.

The S207 was unveiled to media at Tokyo Motor Show today (October 28). Just 400 will be built, and all are for Japanese domestic consumption. Such is the popularity of STI stand-alone models in Japan, the company expects to have to conduct a ballot to choose the 400 buyers – and it’s this Friday, after only two days on sale.

The S207 features “exclusive [STI] engine and suspension tuning as well as distinctive interior and exterior design”.

Power from the 2.0-litre boxer turbo is 328ps (245kw) but torque is not quoted. STI insiders say it’s in the region of 450Nm. The current-model 2.5-litre Aussie spec STI is pegged at 221kW and 407Nm.

Other S207 specific features include adaptive DampMatic II front suspension and front-rear Active Torque Vectoring. Brakes are Brembos (six-piston front, four-piston rear – monoblocks all around) and the car rolls on “specially designed” 255/35R19 rubber. An aggressive aero kit also sets the car apart, while the interior features Recaro buckets (with integral side airbags) and other styling tweaks.

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In addition, up to 200 NBR Challenge Package upgrade kits will also be offered. These cars will feature raw carbon detailing, commemorative badging and as a further measure of exclusivity, just 100 get Sunrise Yellow paint work.

The future of stand-alone STI models like the S207 Down Under largely hinges on the success or otherwise of the just-announced Forester tS.

“As a follow on from Forester tS, we’ve got more discussions with STI about future models this week,” Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior told motoring.com.au.

“The S207 would be a challenge, but we want to look at opportunities [like this],” he stated.

According to Senior a mismatch of Japanese and Australian emission standards is a key issue – so too the fact that the S207 is based on the 2.0-litre STI, not the Aussie-spec 2.5-litre model.

“There’s no way we could get the 2.0-litre into our planning at this stage – it would be like launching an entirely new model.

“So you need to decide what is the number [of cars you could sell]. Is it 100 or 50 – and then do the economics,” he explained.

The S207 is priced at around 60 million yen in Japan. This compares to 39 million for the standard STI. In terms of relativity, that would place an Aussie ‘S207’ in the region of $90,000.

“That [price-tag] would be a challenge for some of the [sales] numbers you’d need to justify the project,” Senior stated.

By Mike Sinclair
www.carsales.com.au

Learn about modifying an MY16 WRX.

Subaru WRX STi dyno testing.

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Nissan will finally offer the bespoke aerokit that helped the GT-R set a record-beating 7:08.679 time around the mighty Nurburgring.

The time, claimed to be the fasted lap ever for a volume production time, was recorded with a GT-R sporting a specially designed aero called the NISMO N Attack Package that until now hasn’t been available for sale.

That changes following Nissan USA’s announcement that US buyers can (for an undisclosed fee) have their GT-Rs fitted will the full record-breaking aero pack.

The catch is that it has to be fitted by Californian tuning company, STILLEN, that just happens to be owned by former Nissan works racer, Steve Millen.

The NISMO N Attack pack includes, naturally, a huge rear downforce-boosting wing and plenty of less than subtle aero aids but also adds a pair of bucket seats that were also used in the record-breaking attempt.

Controversially, the N-Attack Package throws away the standard car’s suspension in exchange for a ‘special’ Nurburgring-tune race-spec suspension that, arguably, stretches further the claim that the record breaking car was a standard, volume production car.

By John Mahoney
www.motoring.com.au

Find brake, suspension and tuning upgrades for all Nissan GTR's from R32 to R35.

Take a quick look at what MRT can offer for custom tuning your factory GTR ECU.

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Mitsubishi's Triton has posted 300,000 sales in the local market.

And to mark the occasion, Mitsubishi is offering drive-away pricing for some dual-cab models in the Triton range. The diesel-engined Triton Double Cab GLX with manual transmission is now priced at $36,990, including on-road costs, 16-inch alloy wheels and a reversing camera. Also a diesel manual, the

GLS Double Cab is priced at $39,990 and also includes on-road costs, as does the Triton Exceed Double Cab that tops the range, at $49,990.

Premium paint, a $550 option for the other two variants, is standard for the Triton Exceed.

"At Mitsubishi Motors, we have gone to great effort to understand the Australian light commercial customer," said Mitsubishi Motors Australia CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri.

"Over five generations, Mitsubishi has engineered Triton to consistently deliver all practical elements LCV buyers look for in a light truck.

"Today's Triton is Mitsubishi's most comfortable and family-friendly light commercial yet, with great manoeuvrability, interior quietness and overall refinement, while still delivering the toughness and reliability Triton has built its reputation on."

Introduced here back in 1979, as the D50, the light commercial vehicle was subsequently renamed L200 Express before settling on the Triton name that had already been adopted in other markets.

That was near the end of 1986. Since then the Trito's profile in the market has gained ground, with a trend to buying dual-cab pick-ups as de facto family cars and recreational vehicles from 2006 boosting sales of the Triton to around 24,000 units sold a year. In 2015, for the first nine months, the Triton has already sold nearly 20,000 units

Australia is now one of Trito's biggest global markets, and some R&D is carried out locally to ensure the Triton meets the needs of local consumers, with engineers working here on power delivery, high-speed stability on loose surfaces and towing capability for the fifth-generation Triton.

Reproduced from www.carsales.com.au

Learn how MRT and EcuTeK can improve your Triton today.

Dyno data for the 2.5lt engine.

 

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Budding tarmac and gravel racers listen up: Subaru Australia has released first details and images of its latest WRX STI-based race car, which was first announced in July and is now open for expressions of interest.

Priced from just $38,000 including GST but excluding delivery – making it more than $11,000 cheaper than the WRX STI on which it's based – the motorsport-only sedan is available in three performance tiers.

All cars are prepared by Subaru Australia’s long-term motorsport partner, Possum Bourne Motorsport (PBMS), offering more power, less weight and a host of race-ready extras over the standard STI.

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The entry-level 2015 WRX STI NR4 (pictured), the first of which was prepared for Subaru Australia and will soon be displayed at Subaru Interactive @ Docklands, weighs just 1480kg and is powered by an exclusive 2.0-litre turbo boxer engine producing 227kW at 6400rpm and 422Nm at 4400rpm -- up from the 221kW/407Nm of the local 2.5-litre STI.

Similar to the road-going STI, the racer sports helical front and DCCD-equipped centre differentials, with a 41/59 front/rear nominal torque split that can be biased via a three-mode SI Drive system.

The non-road-registerable NR4's standard 3.9:1 final drive ratio remains and massive 17-inch Brembo brake discs are fitted all-round, sitting behind 18-inch alloys shod with 245/40/R18 tyres.

Aimed at club-level racers, the Tier 1 NR4 also features OMP winged seats, OMP six-point harnesses, OMP steering wheel, PBMS seat runners, gunmetal grey interior paint, PBMS fibreglass centre console panel for window switch, PBMS fibreglass door panel set, PBMS fibreglass radio panel, PBMS fibreglass rear parcel tray and PBMS fibreglass driver's foot tray, while the interior sound deadening and airbags are removed and window switched relocated.

Two exterior paint colours – white and WR Blue – are available and customers will need to fit an FIA-approved roll cage, which can be ordered at the time of purchase for fitting pre-delivery.

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The WRX STI NR4 cars are FIA-homologated and eligible for FIA WRC2 (one rung below the elite World Rally Championship level), ERC2 regional and progressive national championships, as they meet the FIA’s new NR4 regulations, which replace the previous N4 and R4 classes.

In addition, there are six option packs, covering engine, brakes, driveline and suspension, plus specialised gravel and tarmac packs.

“The attention to detail on this car is just amazing and it’s a compliment to PBMS that they have only honed their skills further since they partnered us in producing 10 consecutive years of Australia Rally Championships.," said Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior.

Expressions of interest should be directed to motorsport@subaru.com.au quickly, because only a limited number of base cars will be imported and already eight have been sold.

As found at www.carsales.com.au

See MY15 Subaru STi dyno data now.

Watch and listen to Brett discuss the MY15 Subaru STi.

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When Toyota's 86 coupe scores a mid-life makeover in 2016, it will bring dynamic improvements across the board, including tweaks to both the engine and chassis.

Although Toyota wo't say exactly what it's planning just yet, mild increases in power from the car's current 2.0-litre boxer engine (147kW/205Nm) are expected, along with updates to the suspension and body work – and possibly the brakes.

Tetsuya Tada, Toyota's chief engineer for sports cars and the man who oversaw the development of the 86 from day one, told motoring.com.au at this week's Tokyo motor show that changes to the car will cover "everything".

Specifically, he listed "engine, body, suspension" and also let slip that there will be a carbon-roofed version, which may or may not be offered in Australia.

Given the extent of the cosmetic, chassis and powertrain upgrades -- and a likely increase in standard equipment – and the 86's bargain-basement starting price of $29,990 could increase.

This, in turn, would give an all-new entry-level Toyota sports car – previewed by the compact S-FR coupe at Tokyo more wiggle room in terms of price in Australia, where it could be priced around just $25,000.

While next year's MY16 86 will bring the first significant upgrade since its launch in 2012, Tada-san said development never stops and planning is already underway for the next-generation coupe expected in another three years' time.

However, Tada again pooh-poohed the idea of employing a turbocharged WRX boxer engine.

"The WRX turbo is not a good solution for future fuel consumption and CO2," he said, before acknowledging the next 86 had to deliver more performance.

"I think turbo is a really easy solution. I always say we try to show something new, always something challenging," he said, adding that downsized turbo engines lack the ability to sound and rev like a sports car engine should.

"The biggest complaint about that kind of engine is the sound. High compression is almost the same as diesel, it makes a boring engine sound," he said.

However, Tada agreed the next 86 would have to have a smaller, high-revving engine – and admitted that electric augmentation had potential.

"It needs to be smaller, and much more high-compression," he said.

"Electric turbo? I think so, that's a really good solution with potential," he added.

Adding weight to expectations of an e-turbo powered 86, Subaru told us this week that a potential STI version of its sister model, the BRZ, could employ an electric turbo.

The godfather of Toyota's sports car renaissance said the next-gen 86 would also be a far more dextrous machine and that the chassis would also "be improved more".

It's not clear if the alliance with Subaru will continue into the second-generation 86, or where all this leaves reports that Toyota's next 86 could be based on the new MX-5 chassis as part of a technology sharing agreement with Mazda, and may be powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol four offering up to 140kW, aided by an F1-style kinetic energy recovery system (KERS).

Tested on local roads against the best sports cars from around the world, the Toyota 86 finished 11th out of 15h cars in motoring.com.au's Australia's Best Driver's Car (#ABDC) in 2015, beating more fancied opponents such as the Ford Falcon XR8 and Subaru WRX STI.

By Feann Torr
www.motoring.com.au

Learn more about an MRT Power Kit for your 86 by clicking here.

Tune in to our YouTube channel to follow the latest updates on BRZ and 86 development.

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Over 50,000 Subarus are subject to a new recall program for a manufacturing defect in the steering column.

Vibration over an extended period could result in a metal plate within the steering column wearing away the wiring insulation. This could lead to a short circuit, which would disable control of the wipers, headlights, horn, driver's airbag and features actuated through the multi-function steering wheel,such as cruise control, audio system and mobile phone connectivity.

The fault could also short out the fuse for the engine management system's ECU. This would shut down the engine.

Subaru advises that 54,572 vehicles are subject to the recall in Australia; these include Impreza and XV (pictured) built between 2012 and 2014, and Forester built in 2013 and 2014. Around the world, Subaru is recalling 236,000 vehicles for this fault. WRX and STI models are unaffected.

In Australia Subaru is yet to record an instance of this fault occurring, and the company claims that the rate of incidence could be as low as 0.007 per cent. In the event that vehicles show signs of damage to the insulation, Subaru technicians will apply insulation tape and urethane foam over the plate.

Damaged wire will be replaced, along with the urethane patch.

This latest recall is unrelated to the Takata airbag issue previously reported. Subaru will contact owners by mail, requesting they take their vehicle to the nearest Subaru dealer for inspection.

The affected vehicles are:
2012 Impreza/XV – 16,263
2013 Impreza/XV – 13,648
2014 Impreza/XV – 5182
2013 Forester – 14,794
2014 Forester – 4685

As found at www.motoring.com.au

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Nissan insider reveals next GT-R's mechanicals will be underpin an Infiniti sedan

A source close to Nissan says that development of Nissa's GT-R supercar has shifted overseas. And it will offer two or four doors for the next model cycle!

Rumours had been doing the rounds over the past few months that Nissan had frozen development of its next-generation GT-R. That's categorically wrong, according to the source.

"R&D for the next GT-R has moved to North America and Europe," he explained.

Both regions are perceived to be far more active than Japan in the fields of motor sport and motoring culture. To prove a point our source explained recent developments and suggested we pay closer attention to concept cars.

For example, the electrically-powered Infiniti Emerge concept launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2012 was designed and built in Europe.  This year's radical new Le Mans machine, the GT-R LM Nismo, was conceived and created in the US, as was the wacky three-wheel electrically-assisted ZEOD RC race car of 2014.

Our insider continued, saying that, "obviously some development work is being done in Japan, inside the country's Super GT championship. But the bulk is now being carried out by Nissan Europe and Nissan USA."
In June 2013, Nissa's motorsport arm NISMO revealed a new collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), a subsidiary of Williams F1, to develop high performance road going cars. And it is this company that appears to be taking on the lio's share of R&D efforts for the next-generation GT-R.

However, it was at this juncture that our source added a twist to the conversation.

"Our research has shown that there is a move in high performance car manufacturing towards four-door sedans. In addition to the high performance sedans at Mercedes, BMW and Audi, just look at the more recent Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide, and even the Lamborghini Estoque."

The GT-R will also go down that path says our insider. And in doing so, it will not only gain two more doors, but graduate from a Nissan badge to an Infiniti emblem in the process.

By introducing a high performance sedan with GT-R potential, Nissan, oops, we mean Infiniti plans to target the likes of Mercedes AMG, BMW M, Porsche and Audi RS rivals.

In revealing information about a four-door GT-R our source stressed that the 'Infiniti GT-R' would be a sedan, but that a two-door GT-R will survive as well, and with a Nissan badge. A high-performance Infiniti sedan is not a major stretch from the Q50 Eau Rouge project.

Power for both models will come from a detuned version of the turbocharged 3.0 litre V6 hybrid that propelled the radical front-wheel-drive GT-R LM Nismo at this year's Le Mans 24-hours. Due for a 2018 debut, Infiniti dealers around the world must be salivating as they await a sedan all their own.

By Peter Lyon – www.carsales.com.au

View what MRT has to offer in the way of Power Kits for the R35.

Monster 353kW Supra replacement to sprout from Toyota-BMW collaboration

Ever since Toyota and BMW announced their technical collaboration in a joint-venture sports car program in 2012 both companies have been meticulously drip-feeding information about the progress of that development.

Just a few months ago, a senior Toyota executive confirmed his company's version of the car would be positioned above the 86 as a successor to Toyota's long-lamented Supra, while more recent reports have suggested delays for BMW's version, which is expected to replace the Z4 and could be called the Z5.

Now, from sources in Japan and Germany, we bring you the latest update on the joint project that will see Toyota and BMW deliver all-new sports cars by the end of this decade.

News of the project quickly gathered momentum late last year when photos of a BMW 2 Series prototype testing in Germany surfaced. It might have been plastered with camouflage trying the disguise the car’s shape and external secrets, but it was obvious from the surfaces and door gaps that this test mule was hiding something underneath.

Indeed, the unique shape of the vehicle revealed a few secrets, including its dimensions relative to the 2 Series coupe, since its wheelbase had been shortened and its roof, bonnet and driver's seat heights had all been lowered, dropping the car's centre of gravity, improving aerodynamics and resulting in a sharper, sportier design.

Then, at the Geneva motor show in March, Toyota confirmed it had completed its product evaluation with BMW and started the development process. A final confirmation came from a BMW boss in May when he confirmed the company had started R&D work and that we should expect to see two very different looking sports cars from BMW and Toyota.

A Toyota insider has told us details of the development mule were held under lock and key by BMW, the company in charge of chassis development for the joint project. Our brief chat with this source revealed the surprising frustration that Toyota engineers appear to be feeling with regard to the details of their sister car. He said only a precious few at Toyota are privy to the fundamentals of the two cars.

We do know that both companies announced they would be splitting development duties into four sections: joint sports car development, fuel-cell technology, electrification technology and weight-saving technology.

Inside this initiative called the 'Silk Road' project, BMW would take charge of the basic chassis and engine development, while Toyota would be responsible for the environmental technologies. What Toyota particularly wanted BMW to focus on was its tried and proven handling prowess and its acclaimed inline six-cylinder powerplant. This combination has already been lined up for the next-generation Z4.

To hybridise this new sports car, Toyota required significant time with BMW engineers to work out the optimum place to store the batteries, which hybrid system would be most appropriate and how to create an acceptable front-rear weight distribution. According to one source, the time needed was twice as long as that required for the development of standard road cars.

Our source says the platform being evaluated for the Silk Road project is not derived from the current Z4 but the i8 plug-in hybrid coupe because it is more suitable for packaging a petrol-electric powertrain.

Unlike the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, which are essentially the same cars with the same engines and bodies but different design touches and badging, the new Toyota and BMW coupes will sit on the same new platform but incorporate entirely different bodies.

"The reason that two completely different bodies can be used is because we are not employing a monocoque design but rather a ‘frame-based’ format," said our insider.

That's a further indication the two cars will share the same aluminium spaceframe chassis and carbonfibre-reinforced plastic body construction, which in the existing BMW i8 is dubbed 'LifeDrive' and consists of a CFRP passenger cell (Life Module) and chassis/powertain platform (Drive Module).

Additional information supplied by our source says that the two cars will be less than 4500mm in length, under 1840mm in width and no more than 1340mm high, with a wheelbase of less than 2500mm.

This means both coupes will be smaller than the outrageously styled Toyota FT-1 concept and even the old Supra, but a fraction larger than the current Z4.

“About the size of a 911,” says our source.

“The Toyota variant’s exterior styling was finalised in the third quarter of last year, but you’ll be surprised at how good it looks. The car does not look like a Toyota," he added.

Our artist’s impression shows an un-Toyota-like supercar-proportioned coupe with a huge front air-dam, heavily flared wheel-arches, 19-inch wheels and a tight two-seat cockpit.

Powertrains have also been locked in. BMW's Z4 successor will arrive in showrooms offering a German 2.0-litre turbo-four and 3.0-litre turbo-six, as well as a Toyota-built plug-in hybrid unit matched with the latter.

Meanwhile, the Toyota coupe will only get two engines: the 3.0-litre turbo-petrol and of course the plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Turbo-petrol versions will undercut 1300kg while the hybrid will weigh in at less than 1500kg, says our source.

While the entry-level BMW variant should offer the Bavarian brand's high-output 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four, both 3.0-litre straight-six turbo-petrol models will pack 250kW and more than 450Nm.

However, when matched with Toyota's hybrid power unit, the six-cylinder turbo plug-in version will pump out an impressive 353kW.

Of course, it will employ the Japanese giant's latest plug-in hybrid technology – rather than the i8's three-cylinder PHEV set-up or the 3.0-litre six-cylinder hybrid powertrain seen in BMW's (non-plugin) ActiveHybrid 3, 5 and 7.

And to help BMW develop the very best plug-in hybrid powertrain for the two coupes, Toyota has sent “a coupe of dozen” engineers to its headquarters in Munich.

Given that its design has been finalised, expect to see the first concept version of Toyota's born-again Supra at either the Detroit show in January or the Geneva show in March, ahead of its global release in 2018.

Image: Holiday Auto

By Peter Lyon – www.carsales.com.au

Find all your braking and suspension needs for your Supra on the MRT catalogue.

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UPDATE: 23/07/2015: Subaru has provided more details of its rally-ready STI, as follows... For your $38K, the 1480kg NR4 STI generates gains power and sheds weight. The 2.0-litre donk produces 227kW at 6400rpm and 422Nm at 4400rpm, up from the 221kW/407Nm of the local 2.5-litre STI.

Massive 17-inch Brembo brake discs are fitted all-round, sitting behind 18-inch alloys that are shod with 245/40/R18 tyres.

Similar to the road-going STI, the racer sports helical front and DCCD-equipped centre differentials, with a 41:59 front:rear nominal torque split that can be biased via a three-mode SI Drive system. The standard 3.9:1 final drive ratio remains.
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Subaru has confirmed the availability of special motorsport versions of its hero car, the WRX STI.

And they're a relative bargain, priced at only $38,000 (including GST) ex-Port Kembla. The catch is the cars can only be used for motorsport and must be caged. They cannot be registered for normal road use.

The official announcement follows our report linking Subaru Australia with an Australia Rally Championship return. Although the company still says it has made no decision either way regarding a return to local motorsport, it has confirmed that it is importing a limited number of the WRX STI racers for local motorsport use.

Subaru says the STIs are pitched to a wide range of enthusiasts, suiting "everyone from club amateur to the professional".

The decision to import these non-registerable racers was driven by demand from both driving enthusiasts and professional teams, the company says. Two are understood to have already been sold to Les Walkden Rallying, with another three going to NZ.

"Current production WRX and WRX STI have taken interest in these turbocharged legends back to the peak levels we saw in the late-1990s, and with that has come a whole new wave of interest in using them for motorsport competition," Subaru Australia Managing Director Nick Senior said of the announcement.

"These cars represent fantastic value for motorsport enthusiasts that want the amazing all-wheel drive advantage that has made WRX such a legend over the past 20-plus years," he added.

The vehicles, officially known as 'Subaru WRX STI NR4 Spec' are FIA-homologated to the FIA's latest NR4 regulations. This allows the new STI racer to compete in events up to WRC2; one rung below the elite World Rally Championship level.

Long-time Subaru combatant Possum Bourne Motorsport is developing a range of specifications to suit the purchaser's intended purpose, from club event through to rallying and circuit championships.

The race cars are powered by Subaru's 2.0-litre turbocharged flat-four, rather than the 2.5-litre version seen in the road-going STI.

Available in a choice of two colours – white and the legendary WR Blue – the motorsport STIs can also be pre-ordered with a locally-fitted FIA-compliant road cage, rendering them ready to race or rally once the purchaser has decided on the level of fit-out required.

By Adam Davis – www.motoring.com.au

Dyno data for MY15 STi's tuned by MRT.

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Mitsubishi's swansong tribute to its legendary turbocharged rally icon, the Lancer Evolution Final Edition has already attracted more than 650 potential Australian buyers, but many of them will be disappointed.

Just 150 examples of the last Evo, which was launched today in Japan (you can read our review here), have been allocated to Australia – from a total production run of 1000 units – and Mitsubishi began taking expressions of interest via its public website in April.

Mitsubishi's Australian communications chief Shayna Welsh told motoring.com.au that first deliveries are expected to take place here by the end of this year, but could not confirm when dealers will officially begin taking orders.

"The Australian market has been allocated 150 units of the Final Edition Lancer Evolution," she confirmed.

"So far, we've had more than 650 pre-registrations, which has been generated purely through social media activity. We have't started active promotion of Final Edition yet, but expect to do so as we move closer to launch."

Welsh said Mitsubishi dealers were taking details from customers who express interest, but no orders were being taken until dealer allocations were finalised. We understand orders will be taken on a first-come-first-served basis soon.

"At this stage, we've only taken pre-registrations, where customers register their interest for more information. We'll go out with a communication to customers that includes pricing and specification once this is finalised for the Australian market.

"We're also aware of customers placing orders with their local dealer, however, we're still working through a range of details – including dealer allocation of vehicles – before actual orders can be locked in."

Australian pricing, specifications and timing of customer deliveries are yet to be announced, said Welsh.

"We're a little way off announcing details of the Australian specification, but we plan to launch Lancer Evolution Final Edition before the end of the year," she said. "Pricing and timing are still up in the air."

According to the Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited website: "MMAL is still tuning the final specification, however, the Australian model will have increased power and torque and a similar level of enhanced performance [as the model announced for the Japanese domestic market]."

Launched today in its domestic market, where it's also a sell-out, Japa's Evo Final Edition is based on the Japanese-spec Evo GSR, but increases the power output of its 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine from 221kW to 230kW at 6500rpm, while peak torque increases from 422Nm to 429Nm at 3500rpm.

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The JDM-spec car's 230kW power output is significantly down on the wild Evo X Final Concept revealed at January's Tokyo Auto Salon, where it debuted with a claimed 353kW thanks to an upgraded HKS turbo, intake, exhaust and ECU, plus bespoke 19-inch forged wheels with Yokohama Advan Neova tyres, HKS adjustable suspension and a matt-black paint job.

But it's significantly more than the 217kW/366Nm outputs of the Lancer Evo X sold here, where the Evo has long been detuned to suit Australian fuel quality and climate.

Welsh told motoring.com.au she expected Australia's Lancer Eco Final Edition to come with "slightly different" performance outputs to the Japanese version.

She remained tight-lipped about pricing, but in Japan the final Evo commands a 400,000 yen ($A4350) price premium over the Evo GSR on which it's based.

If it comes here with a similar increase over Australia's entry-level Evo X manual ($52,990 plus on-road costs; the Final Edition runs a five-speed manual rather than the six-speed dual-clutch auto in the MR SST, which costs $58,990 here), it should remain priced under $60,000.

Other standard Final Edition features include 18-inch BBS wheels, four-piston Brembo brakes, leather Recaro bucket seats with red stitching, Final Edition logos and numbered badges, Bilstein shocks and Eibach springs, and the option of standard red or silver paint.

Speaking at this week's launch in Japan, a Mitsubishi engineer told motoring.com.au the company has "taken the Evo dynasty as far as it could go".

But he backed previous reports that the Evo spirit will live on in SUV models from Mitsubishi, in the form of high-performance versions of crossovers like the ASX and Outlander.

"The times are different now," he said. "The market does not want high-powered AWD turbos anymore that struggle to clear stringent CO2 and mileage requirements. We will use the Evo's 4WD technology on future vehicles like the Outlander and others."

By Marton Pettendy – www.motoring.com.au

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Subaru has announced the 2016 model year update for the range of WRX and WRX STI models, which are now priced to reflect new features fitted.

Those extra features fitted as standard are mostly driver-assist systems to enhance the driver's situational awareness – what Subaru Australia refers to as Vision Assist technologies.

At the entry level, the WRX now comes with 18-inch alloy wheels and a new 6.2-inch infotainment touch screen as standard, without change to its pricing of $38,990 for the manual and $40,990 for the WRX with CVT. Prices have been reduced by $500 for the entry-level STI, or by $200 for the same car with a boot spoiler.

For Premium-grade WRX and STI variants, Subaru has incorporated Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Change Assist, electrochromatic rear-view mirror, High Beam Assist, Side View Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and power folding exterior mirrors as standard. These same (Premium) variants also gain a new seven-inch infotainment touch screen, which features voice recognition, Pandora (app) compatibility and pinch/zoom facility.

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"WRX is already regarded as well specced, but these latest additions make it the best ever in terms of the performance, value and features equation," said Subaru Australia MD, Nick Senior.

"WRX and WRX STI are already selling at levels unseen since the late 1990s and the latest list of new technologies can only boost their turbocharged sales success even further."

WRX MY16 pricing changes
WRX manual – $38,990 (no change)
WRX Lineartronic CVT – $40,990 (no change)
WRX Premium manual – $44,890 (+$900)
WRX Premium Lineartronic CVT – $46,890 (+$900)
WRX STI – $49,490 (-$500)
WRX STI with rear spoiler – $49,790 (-$200)
WRX STI Premium – $55,390 (+$400)
WRX STI Premium with rear spoiler – $55,690 (+$700)

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MRT Power Kits for the Subaru MY15 STi

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Japanese sources say that Toyota is hard at work on a high-output engine for the 86 sports car, and that engine will be coupled to an F1-inspired energy recovery system.

The next generation model of 86 will be based on the latest MX-5 platform, as we reported last month, which would leave Subaru out in the cold, and without its own branded counterpart to sell.

Toyota is pushing ahead with this strategy for what it deems to be all the right reasons: performance, fuel economy and cost. The turbocharged 1.5-litre powerplant its engineers are rumoured to be working on for the next 86 mirrors Mazda's SKYACTIV 1.5-litre four-cylinder configuration, but the Toyota unit is said to be rated at up to 140kW.

That's a far cry from the 96kW figure for the standard MX-5 engine. And both performance and fuel economy are set to be enhanced with an F1-style KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) system, delivering Toyota an ace up its sleeve.

Toyota's bean counters are adamant that the new 86 will not only benefit from Mazda's suspension and chassis-tuning prowess, but will generate ample power via the new engine – and for a showroom sticker price on par with today's.

Toyota signed an agreement in May this year to share technologies with Mazda, thus opening the door to using the new MX-5's chassis and suspension setup, which was just what Toyota executives had been seeking.

And what of Subaru? The 2.0 litre boxer engine powering the current 86 and BRZ boasted beefy low to mid-range torque and a unique engine note, and helped to redefine both brand's sports car line-ups. But Toyota has not been completely happy with the boxer engine's fuel economy figures and could not see a sizeable improvement in the next generation model.

Furthermore, some Subaru executives reportedly harbour some reservations about the 86/BRZ project. Word from within Subaru is that the sports car has diluted Subaru's strong brand message, associating horizontally-opposed engines with AWD safety.

It's speculated a concept for the next 86 will debut during 2017, with production models appearing in showrooms by 2020 for around 2.5 million yen.

Photos from Best Car magazine

Words by Peter Lyon – www.motoring.com.au

MRT Power Kits for the current model Toyota 86

Check out our YouTube channel for dozens of informative videos on the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ

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Long-time Mitsubishi rally pilot Hiroshi Masuoka will take on the dual roles of team captain and driver for a sortie in the Baja Portalegre 500 cross-country rally near the end of October.

For the Portuguese event Masuoka will be behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, modified to withstand all the adversity the event can throw at it.

It's not the first time the plug-in Outlander has competed in a demanding event of this nature. Around the time the fuel-sipping SUV made its global debut in 2013 it was being campaigned in the Asia Cross Country Rally. The Outlander PHEV will run in this year's event as well, in the same specification as the car Masuoka will drive in Portugal.

For the Baja Portalegre 500, Mitsubishi will beef up the Outlander PHEV's drive battery structure, control system and suspension. A support team will be led by manager Yasuo Tanaka and will also include four engineers from the company's EV Component Research Department. Mitsubishi anticipates a podium placing for the Outlander PHEV in this event.

"The non-stop competition format of the Baja 500 will again demand the highest levels of drive motor and battery durability from the Outlander PHEV," Masuoka was quoted saying in a press release.

"Like many competitors in this year's Baja Portalegre 500, I am driven to show Outlander PHEV's incredible driving dynamics and durability which come direct from the production car.

"With the support of MMC EV development engineers, we will compete with a view to finishing among the winners.

"Mitsubishi is using this event as an opportunity to demonstrate the upgraded power of the rally car's EV components and advanced development of our 4WD control technology, with the aim of using our experiences at the Baja Portalegra 500 to develop our plug-in hybrid EV system further in the future."

The Outlander PHEV Masuoka will be steering in Portugal will be based on the updated model first previewed in concept form at the Paris motor show last year, and soon to reach Australia, where it sells on the strength of its unique specification – a plug-in hybrid that's also an SUV – and its affordability.

For the 2015 model year the Outlander PHEV has been upgraded for driveability, electric-only range and fuel economy. In addition there's more equipment and revised cosmetic details to report.

The updated model features the revised frontal treatment introduced already for the conventional models in the Outlander range. Mitsubishi refers to this new look as 'Dynamic Shield' design. A variation on the design sees the PHEV version wearing unique bumper extensions, side garnish and exterior decoration. The Outlander PHEV gets its own design of 18-inch alloy wheel too, in a black gloss and machined-finish combination. New colours comprise Ruby Black Pearl and Quartz Brown metallic, the former unique to the PHEV and presenting as red flecks on a black pearl base. Other colours available are: Black Mica, Titanium Grey Metallic, White Pearl and Red Metallic.

As distinct from the mainstream Outlander variants, the PHEV model features an exclusive interior design as well. Seats have been redesigned and a new upholstery with 'accent stitching' is applied to the door inserts as well. Both the leather-bound four-spoke steering wheel and the centre console are new to the Outlander PHEV. All variants now come as standard with a power-adjustable driver's seat.

Mitsubishi is claiming a fuel economy gain of around eight per cent from reducing the engine's internal friction and working on "overall system optimisation". Electric motor efficiency is slightly improved too, yielding an extra 600m of range, taking the total electric-only range to 60.8km. Drivers may notice a difference in the car's "launch feel" too, due to revision of the motor control systems.

Two new driver-assist systems are Multi-around View Monitor, which provides an elevated view of the entire vehicle while parking, and Unintentional Move-Off Control, which is an option for some PHEV variants and mitigates accident damage if the driver accidentally presses the accelerator rather than the brake.

Mitsubishi Australia plans to introduce the revised Outlander PHEV to Australia in July.

Reproduced from www.motoring.com.au

Learn how EcuTeK can be used to enhance many models of Mitsubishi turbo diesel engines.

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Nissan Australia is yet to decide whether it will run a GT-R racer in the next generation of V8 Supercars or stick with its current Altima-based cars.

The brand this week moved to clarify its position on whether the iconic Nissan supercar would make a return to Australia's top category in 2017 and beyond.

The posturing follows conflicting stories in recent weeks in mainstream print and electronic media. A News Corporation reporter told the panel on FoxSport's Inside Supercars program that the GT-R's return was imminent, then Fairfax newspaper sources poured cold water on the story stating the cult car would not be on the grid.

But in a wide ranging interview with motoring.com.au after the weekend's Le Mans 24 hour, Nissan Australia CEO Richard Emery (pictured) said that nothing has been decided and that in fact he was concerned how a GT-R entry into V8 Supercars would be perceived.

"We've had discussions with Nissan global on the Supercars program. [But] We need to see if it [GT-R] suits the rules and suits the brand," Emery told motoring.com.au.

"Yes [2017 rule changes] does give us an opportunity in terms of engines and a potential opportunity around body shells...

"[But] It's not the lay-down misere as many people think – that because the rules are open to do a coupe, we'll just do a GT-R because that's our motorsport product," he explained.

"It's not that simple. It certainly has't been decided or determined yet," Emery stated.

GT-R occupies a special place in Nissa's range and in the brand's 'folklore'. Emery says it's this status that makes the decision complex.

"The GT-R is a very closely held, iconic brand in the Nissan world. It stands for innovation and for high technology... All those sorts of things... And I'm worried about what that GT-R stands for and how it would be perceived going into V8 supercars. Not just by our owners but by the Nissan Motor Companyorganisation globally" he stated.

Emery told motoring.com.au he was keen to make "longer term decisions" about the company's local motorsport program but admitted Nissan Australia and the company globally was frustrated with aspects of V8 Supercars' rules and regulations.

"I spent time with both Darren [Cox] and Miyatani-san [Shoichi Miyatani, NISMO President] because one thing I want to make sure is whatever we do [that] it is fully supported and is seen as part of the global program.

"That has't always been the case with our program up to this point and any position going forward for us it needs to be a whole of business decision so we do get the full support [of Nissan internationally].

Emery said Nissa's international support had been consistent but defined it as "a year-by-year thing".

"That's not good for our long term planning. I want to make a longer term decision and that means I need a longer term commitment whether that be from NISMO, whether it be the global motorsport program," he told motoring.com.au.

Emery said it was "frustrating" that of three V8 racing engines already existing in the Nissan armoury, "none of them could be made to work in the restrictive environment that is V8 Supercars".

But the local Nissan chief said 2017's new rulebook would likely remedy that situation.

"We'll give [Nismo] a copy of the [new] rules... They'll probably look at them and say that engine will work, we can make that engine work, which one do you [Nissan Australia] want to use, and then we'll have a proper technical discussion.

"Having said that, by the time we get to the end of next year, us together with the Kellys have spent a lot of money and the current V8 engine... Do I want to put those in the bin... That's another discussion we have to have," Emery stated.

As can be viewed at www.motoring.com.au

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Nissan’s cool little rival to the Toyota 86 will never see production, but the next 370Z could head into cheaper territory.

Nissan chief creative officer, Shiro Nakamura, revealed to Autoblog at last weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hour race that, “I think IDx will not be produced.”

We are studying a couple of different concepts, because the sports car market is becoming smaller globally,” he adds.

“We would like to do something, I personally think, is more [in the] original concept of Z, which is ... more practical and appealing to younger customers.”

Nakamura also hints that the progression to the 370Z as a larger, heavier and more powerful 350Z might not have been the right way to go.

“We are questioning ourselves in repeating the 350, 370. We do't want to create 390Z, right?" he jokes.

When Autoblog put to Nakamuru whether he would like to challenge the Toyota 86 and Mazda MX-5, the creative officer replied, “we may not necessarily go into the same category. Personally I see other options that are very interesting.”

And the idea of a 370Z moving downmarket and becoming cheaper? “We still need time to finalize this. I mean, we have a couple of ideas.”

Former Nissan vice president Andy Palmer championed a duo of IDx prototypes when they were first revealed at the 2013 Tokyo motor show.

One a hybrid, the other a nuggety, rear-drive sports car referencing the Datsun 510, Palmer said he hoped both will be built.

Since Palmer left the Japanese brand to head up Aston, things went quiet on the IDx front and several executives have since whispered of its demise.

Now all but confirmed to be dead, rear-drive coupe enthusiasts will have to bank on a lighter, cheaper next-gen Zed car.

See a sample of just some of the performance, suspension and cosmetic upgrades MRT has to offer for the Nissan 370Z.

Copied from www.motormag.com.au

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Koenigsegg’s new 985kW One:1 has set a new performance benchmark for the 0-300-0km/h, with a record-beating time of just 17.95 seconds.

Recorded at the car-maker’s test track in Angelholm, Sweden, the new time slashes the current record by more than three seconds. It was set in 2011 by the Koenigsegg Agera.

Despite the new time, the Agera’s recorded and verified 21.19 sec time will temporarily remain the official world record until the new, 3.24 sec faster time is officially certified by Guinness.

By John Mahoney
From www.carsales.com.au

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This time last year the 86 had racked up over 2000 sales and 391 of the rear-drive coupes found homes in May 2014.

Things are dramatically different this year with just 256 Toyota coupes delivered last month, bringing the year’s total to 1343 units.

These numbers represent the end of the 86’s reign as the affordable sports car sales king, with Subaru’s all-paw WRX pulling in 279 sales last month and 1353 for the year.

The Toyota’s sales figures are still undeniably impressive for such a car, but they’re nothing like what they once were and the 86’s steady decline could continue well into next year.

While the 86 has received a few subtle specification and suspension upgrades over the past few years, a proper facelift isn’t expected to occur until late next year.

And while Toyota will fettle the 2.0-litre atmospheric engine, we’re hearing the modifications will be minor – so no 300kW turbo conversion then…

It’s believed the changes will be mainly focused on refreshing the styling, meaning the 86 will come in for the usual bumpers and bling treatment.

The 86’s Subaru BRZ brother may also receive a freshen up given both cars are built on the same production line.

BRZ sales have slowed to a trickle in recent months. Even the Porsche 911 outsold the two-door Subie in May.

As seen at www.motormag.com.au

MRT Power Kits for Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ - complete with MRT factory warranty gaurantee.

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The Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid has been introduced in Japan, representing the next step towards a full-blown hybrid sports car for the brand, potentially wearing a WRX badge.

Based on the regular Impreza and only Subaru's second hybrid model after the XV Crosstrek Hybrid released in Japan in2013, the Impreza Sport Hybrid features a 2.0-litre boxer engine coupled with a small electric motor to help propel the car, increasing power while reducing fuel consumption.

Subaru Japan cites fuel consumption of around 5.0L/100km when hooked up exclusively to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) -- down from the 6.8L/100km the non-hybrids are claimed to use.

Motoring.com.au understands that Subaru Australia has not completely ruled out introducing a hybrid version of the Impreza locally, but the official line on the Impreza Sport Hybrid pictured here is "no".

"The hybrid announced in Japan last week is not for the Australian market," Subaru Australia's managing director Nick Senior told motoring.com.au.

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However, he did admit there is a plan to introduce hybrid vehicles here, stating: "In relation to the first Subaru hybrid in Australia, it has not been decided."

Compared to the non-hybrid Impreza, which generates 110kW of power and 196Nm of torque, the hybridised powertrain adds 8kW and 24Nm, for a grand total of 118kW and 220Nm.

Regular Imprezas take around 11 seconds to accelerate to 100km/h, so the hybrid versions are likely to be slightly quicker.

The Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid also gets a more athletic look than standard models, riding on motorsport-inspired 17-inch alloy wheels and featuring an eye-catching body kit, with contrasting pinstripes around the lower edges of the bumpers and side skirts.

Top-shelf variants also boast metallic accents and faux suede seat trim in the cabin.

Although nothing has been confirmed, there's the possibility that Subaru will go one step further with its next Impreza and introduce a higher-output turbo version of its petrol-electric hybrid powertrain as emissions regulations tighten dramatically towards 2020 – perhaps based on the Levorg or WRX.

See MRT's progress with the MY15 WRX.

Visit one of the largest parts inventory on the internet for Impreza parts now.

Words by Feann Torr, www.motoring.com.au

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Targa Championship organisers have made several changes to the technical regulations of Australia's premier tarmac rally series from 2016.

Focused specifically on three components – safety, competition structure and cost containment – the overarching changes will come into effect from January 1, 2016 — Targa Tasmania’s 25th anniversary year.

From this point vehicles entered in the average-speed based GT Sports Trophy category will need, at minimum, a bolt-in half rollcage. This is due to the average speed of recent Trophy entrants — who need to adhere to a 130km/h top speed — being higher than anticipated.

Changes to the competition structure are designed to increase both field size and acknowledgement of those who may not be on the top three steps come rally end.

The TSD Trophy category will, for example, recognise the leading classic vehicle for the first time as part of Targa’s new ‘four-step podium’ system.

A new GT Sports Trophy class has resulted from the merging of Thoroughbred and Sports Trophy into a single group, given the low uptake of Thoroughbred entrants in recent times. As per TSD, the first classic home will also be recognised on the podium.

Moving to non-speed-limited competition vehicles, the Classic category has been overhauled, removing – contentiously, but with an eye on cost containment – Classic Outright. Instead, Early and Late classes have been merged and the trophy winner will be defined by the handicap system.

The popular Early Modern group returns to a December 31, 2002 cut-off date, with eligible vehicles from 1986-2002 granted entry. This rule will remain in place ‘into the future’. Additionally, the top end has been split to provide Categories for 4WD and 2WD vehicles, the top 2WD crew now able to stand on the podium regardless of outright finishing position.

A car built from January 1, 2003 is classed as modern, with this date remaining fixed for the foreseeable future. For the first time, a cut-off date has been introduced, being December 31, 2011. The structure is split into 2WD and 4WD categories in a similar vein to Early Modern.

Showing a shift to lower-cost, showroom-style vehicles is the introduction of new competitions, with Targa suggesting that the new categories could hold top-10 outright cars that cost less than $60,000 to buy and prepare.

The Showroom classes have been replaced by GT2 and GT4 categories, spanning two- and four-wheel drive machines respectively. And they are the only way to enter Targa in a car built from January 1, 2012.

GT2 is made for two-wheelers built from January 1, 2009 to the date of the current event (meaning cars built from 2009-2011 have the option to run GT2 or Modern). To increase performance, some freedoms above the previous Showroom scenarios have been allowed to encourage both manufacturer and privateer involvement.

The GT4 category apes GT2 for timings and modification and is intended to make the cars ‘competitive, safe and reliable with greatly reduced preparation costs’.

Taking a peak at the new regulations reveals that items such as the clutch disc are free, and a limited-slip differential can be fitted to cars without one standard, provided it’s in the same ratio as standard. Other highlights include free front brake callipers, though rears have to remain standard. Dampers are free but attachment points must remain unchanged, and there’s no in-car anti-roll bar adjustments allowed.

Naturally-aspirated vehicles can have their block-back exhaust system changed, however, turbo vehicles can only modify the exhaust from the turbo-back. ECU changes are permitted, turbocharger boost is unrestricted and air filters are free, but intercoolers must remain the same size, material and fit as standard.

Interestingly, the GT2 and GT4 categories will not allow limited editions of the base model vehicle that are designed primarily for motorsport use, and neither are the upgraded parts allowed to be retro-fitted to the base spec car.

As Targa embraces GT2 and GT4, it’s our hope that more manufacturers return to the Targa fray and become part of Australia's top-level tarmac rally scene once more.

 

By Adam Davis, www.carsales.com.au

 

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Mazda's new MX-5 could not only form the basis of Fiat's upcoming 125 Spider, but replacements for Toyota's popular 86 coupe and its twin, the Subaru BRZ.

The deal that will see Fiat produce an all-new sports roadster based on the same compact rear-drive SKYACTIV platform as the MX-5 (but with different sheetmetal and engines – perhaps the same 177kW/350Nm 1.75-litre turbo-petrol engine as the Alfa Romeo 4C) has been well documented.

Mazda's fourth-generation MX-5 goes on sale in Australia next month, priced from just $31,990 and powered by a 96kW/150Nm 1.5-litre petrol engine, with a 2.0-litre versions to follow, while the new Fiat 124 Spider is expected to be revealed later this year before going on sale in 2016.

The 86 and BRZ coupes, meantime, were produced in a joint-venture arrangement between the Japanese brands that saw Subaru undertake most engineering work and near-identical models from both brands released in 2012.

Both the 86 and BRZ received minor updates around this time last year and Toyota, which has an equity interest in Subaru, is expected to release a major midlife facelift for the 86 at the Tokyo motor show in October.

Separately, Toyota and BMW are working on a joint-venture sports car project that is expected to lead to a born-again Toyota Supra and a replacement for BMW's Z4, and the pair also have a technology sharing deal that could produce a hydrogen-powered version of the BMW i3.

Toyota has previously indicated it will produce a successor for the 86 — a pet project personally backed by president Akio Toyoda – but latest news out of Japan is that both the 86 and BRZ could migrate onto the new MX-5 platform in their next generation, following rumours that Toyota has tested the new MX-5’s chassis.

A source close to Toyota tells us it's a difficult situation because the Japanese giant is in the final stages of completing its own new rear-drive sports car chassis, which could not only underpin the next 86 but an all-new small sports coupe-hatch.

“There is one possibility though,” said our insider. “If Toyota was to employ the MX-5’s chassis, it’d be on the next generation 86.”

Either way, from what we’re hearing, the next 86 will employ a smaller, lighter rear-drive platform and – though it may displease the purists – could even be powered by a downsized turbo-petrol engine.

Of course, any decision about the next 86 platform will impact Subaru's BRZ, which would not have materialised without Toyota.

Mazda has long stated it would share its SKYACTIV technologies with any car-maker prepared to pay for them, and the next-generation Toyota Yaris will be Mazda-2-based and even made for North American markets at Hiroshima’s new facility in Mexico.

More recently, Mazda inked a deal with the world's largest car company that could result in the first plug-in hybrid and even hydrogen fuel cell models for Mazda, and a range of diesel-powered models potentially including an all-new small SUV for Toyota.

 

Dyno data for Toyota 86's that have been modified by MRT Performance.

Toyota 86 Power Kits here.

Words by Marton Pettendy & Peter Lyon

Article as found at www.carsales.com.au

 

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After 10 years and 450 cars sold Bugatti has ceased production of the Veyron supercar.

The last car built, appropriately called 'La Finale', was bought by a customer in the Middle East and will be shown at next month’s Geneva motor show.

First on sale back in 2005, the 8.0-litre W16 Bugatti Veyron originally began life with 1000hp (736kW) in the 16.4 coupe, but it wasn’t long before a roadster and more powerful variants like the Super Sport, Grand Sport, Grand Sport Vitesse joined the line-up.

In total, out of 450 cars made, 300 were coupes and 150 were roadsters with power growing from the standard 736kW in the coupe to 883kW in models like the Super Sport.

Over its lifespan, Bugatti says the average price paid for each Veyron amounted to more than 2.3 million euros ($A3.3m.)

The La Finale will come with the full 883kW which means it will hit 100km/h in just 2.5 seconds before eventually topping out at 431km/h.

With production finished, Bugatti is believed to be already working on a new replacement for the Veyron that could be launched as soon as next year.

Bugatti boss Wolfgang Dürheimer said: “The Veyron is unique in many respects even 10 years after its launch.

“The Veyron is not just a masterpiece of modern automobile design, it is more an automotive piece of art.”

By John Mahoney, www.motoring.com.au

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Toyota has a reputation for being a manufacturer of some of the most reliable and competitively priced cars on the planet and have excelled in customer satisfaction surveys globally for many years.

But when it comes to inspired design, the company has a tendency to lag behind other Asian car-makers like Kia.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda wants to change all that. Evidence of his influence over the company’s design department in recent years is clear in models like the reasonably-priced 86 and Lexus RC Coupe, and it was his nod that green-lighted production of the limited-edition Lexus LFA supercar in 2010.

Toyoda is the type of CEO who also likes to get behind the wheel of his company’s race cars, including the LFA and IS F for events like Germany’s Nurburgring 24-Hour and the 86 in domestic rallies, so his “outside the box” decision to create more aspirational models comes as no surprise.

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To inject more spice into Toyota’s design department, the outspoken CEO created an all-female design team in 2011 starting with seven ladies. Kind of like Toyota’s 'Charlie’s Angels', the three-lady team you see in this photograph was given the job of reinterpreting some of the company’s higher-profile cars, starting with the now-iconic 86.

Debuting as a concept car at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon, the ‘86 Style Cb,’ which stands for 'Cool Beauty', has just been launched into the Japanese market in limited numbers.  

“We first flexed our muscles with the FJ Cruiser Style Cb in 2012 and were then asked to take on the 86 and add something special to it. Something with style and chicness, borrowing ideas from Toyota’s sports car past,” says Megumi Nakano (pictured in the centre), the leader of the design team.

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Toyoda must have liked what he saw in 2013 because the production 86Cb has now appeared in showrooms basically unchanged.

Inspired by retro styling hints from legendary sports cars of yesteryear like the 2000GT (which appeared in James Bond’s You Only Live Twice), the Cb gets a new softer nose section, elongated oval-shaped grille, reshaped rear bumper and exhaust outlets, round bubble headlights, side air-vent accents with unique illumination and 18-inch wheels and tyres.

The original concept car was given two-tone paintwork in ‘nuance beige’ and ‘demitasse brown’ (demitasse means “small espresso cup”), and luckily it survived the arduous design process in which many original concept ideas are shelved.

The design team also made available more popular paint jobs including single colours or two-tone finishes in either silver, white, black, or a combination of the two.

Inside, the Cb incorporates wood-like and polished aluminium tones, specially designed gauges and bucket seats, and a steering wheel and handbrake wrapped in black leather with red stitching and unique Cb logos.

But Toyoda obviously only gave the all-girl design team permission to reinterpret the aesthetics of the car, not the performance or handling. The 86Cb comes with the stock 2.0-litre boxer engine generating 147kW and the choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

Despite this, as with all dress-up models from Japanese car-makers, the 86Cb’s price tag of 4.2 million yen ($A45,000) represents the a handsome price premium over the model on which it's based, with the stock 86 costing around 2.5 million yen ($A27,000) in Japan.

If you're looking for that bit more midrange or top end from your 86 then look no further than the MRT Power Kits (complete with factory warranty guarantee!).

Curious to see what forced induction does to this already fun little car?

Words by Peter Lyon
www.carsales.com.au

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The Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster concept unveiled at the 2015 Chicago motor show demonstrates a readiness by the Japanese car maker to expand the performance brand into niche areas.

Expected to be one of its most focussed convertibles yet, the 370Z NISMO Roadster concept adopts the same chassis adjustments of its 370Z NISMO coupe sibling – more power, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, fatter tyres, etc –  in a package that looks close to production ready.

Nissan said the new Roadster was created to "gauge market interest in an ultimate factory Z Roadster" and would be NISMO's fifth factory model after tuned versions of the 370Z, GT-R, JUKE and JUKE NISMO RS if it gets the green light for production.

The US-market NISMO’s Roadster's 3.7-litre V6 is rated at 261kW/373Nm, up from the Australian 370Z's 245kW/363Nm, thanks to exhaust and ECU changes. The drop-top promises to be even more exhilarating than the 370Z NISMO coupe, which we described in 2014 as "effortlessly rapid and supremely satisfying to drive hard".

Although unlikely to be quite as sharp as the coupe, it should be tauter than its donor car, thanks to significant chassis upgrades. It gets a NISMO strut tower brace under the bonnet, stiffer NISMO-enhanced suspension front and rear, with unique springs and stabiliser bars.

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Also included are larger brakes and a viscous limited-slip differential, or VLSD, complete with a shorter final drive ratio for improved acceleration. Updated body work is designed to improve  aerodynamics with the handy side-effect of providing the vehicle with more menacing visuals.

"The idea of adding NISMO levels of look, feel and performance to a Nissan 370Z Roadster is one that we've been considering for a long time," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.

"The creation of the Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept brings that idea to life and lets us judge consumer reaction – which we predict is going to be outstanding."

Although the NISMO brand launches soon in Australia, a country that punches above its weight in terms of high-performance vehicle consumption, timing for the Roadster release is muddy.

However, it’s expected to arrive later this year, with Nissan Australia stating in 2014 that it was close to securing the business case to make it work.

Take a look at the MRT Power Kit for your 370Z.

Did you know Cosworth offer some excellent performance upgrades for the current 370Z?

Browse the MRT online catalogue now.

Words and images by www.carsales.com.au

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Mazda has taken the wraps of its MX-5 Accessories Concept at the Chicago motor show, powered by a 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder petrol engine that will develop 115kW and 200Nm.

The engine, adapted for a longitudinal application from the transverse-engined Mazda3 and CX-5, will be paired to a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

It will be offered alongside the downsized 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine already confirmed for the MX-5 in Australia, where both engine variants – and a number of model grades – are likely to be launched simultaneously in the second half of this year.

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motoring.com.au sampled the new MX-5 in Barcelona recently and found the lower-capacity engine's 96kW and 150Nm outputs sufficient. The lightweight construction of the latest MX-5 results in a slightly better power-to-weight ratio than in the outgoing model, and this will improve even further with the 2.0-litre variant.

The MX-5 Accessories Concept also debuted a sportier new look for the world's favourite roadster, the black-on-white show car previewing a range of optional accessories likely to be made available on the fourth-generation Japanese soft-top.

On the list are forged satin black 17-inch BBS alloy wheels wrapped in 205/45-series rubber and surrounding red-painted Brembo brake callipers.

A satin black aero kit and roll bars mimic that of Mazda's 2014 SEMA show car, the MX-5 Global Cup racing car, while adding further appeal are a bootlid-mounted satin black luggage rack and high-level brake light.

See how EcuTeK will improve your Mazda MX5.

Story found at www.carsales.com.au

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Toyota’s commitment to next year's new one-make 86 Pro-Am race series may be aimed at grassroots motorsport, but the spend it will involve is big business.

Fees to V8 Supercars, television licensing costs and corporate facilities are expected to run well into seven-figures each season – not including equipment, activation, competitor support and potentially pro drivers, say motor racing insiders.

Motoring.com.au attended the launch of the 86 Pro-Am series at the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars season opener on Friday. It’s at this race the series is expected to debut in earnest in 2016.

And while Toyota would not comment on the specifics of its investment in the series, V8 Supercars insiders were more forthcoming -- on the basis of anonymity.

“They’re not riding on our coat tails free of charge,” one high-profile team executive told motoring.com.au.

“They’re paying us to be here. They will be paying us for the television footage. And they’ll be supporting the V8 Supercars championship via their spend on corporate and other facilities,” he said.

Toyota expects the 86 Pro-Am series to run at between six and eight rounds of the V8 Supercars Championship. While the Clipsal opener is not promoted by V8 Supercars in its own right, key rounds in the title are.

Not surprisingly, it is the V8 Supercars-promoted rounds that will likely make up the lion’s share of the 86 events. It’s at these rounds that the V8 Supercar series itself benefits most from on- and off-track spend. But it’s not just Toyota’s dollars that those within the V8 Supercars organisation see benefit in.

“Toyota and Volkswagen are the two jewels the series needs. This is a great way for us to let Toyota inside the tent… To let them see what the show’s all about,” our V8 Supercars insider stated.

V8 Supercars CEO, James Warburton, was happy to go on record and welcome Toyota into the fold.

“Toyota is the number one sales brand in Australia. This is a great way to start the relationship with Toyota,” he stated.

Toyota Australia sales boss Tony Cramb was on hand for the launch of the series -- an indication of the high level of support the Pro-Am series has within the local Toyota organisation.

Cramb told motoring.com.au the Japanese car-maker's commitment to the series was “long term”. He said Toyota staff were “genuinely excited” about the series.

Making reference to problems with other recent one-make series Down Under: “It will not be under-funded,” he said.

Today's announcement of the 2016 86 Pro-Am series comes just weeks after sister luxury brand Lexus was named as the official safety, course and medical car supplier for the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship, as part of a two-year deal ending in 2016 and spearheaded by the luxury brand's new RC F Coupe.

Lexus Australia is currently considering whether the RC F will also form the basis of its first V8 Supercars campaign when new rules allow coupes in 2017 – the same year Toyota (and Holden) cease Australian production – or a GT3 sports car campaign including the rival Australian GT Championship and the Bathurst 12-Hour.

A feasibility study will decide Lexus' Australian motorsport future by mid-2015, but Cramb ruled out a V8 Supercars assault by Toyota, saying it was never a choice between V8s or the 86 Pro-Am.

"Truthfully no, this was always Toyota’s direction. This is a grass-roots approach. Our idea is to give the young people the idea of getting involved in motorsport and develop their skills.

"I personally have never crunched the numbers on V8 Supercars since I have been in charge at Toyota, which is going on for three years now.”

When asked if Toyota's investment in the Pro-Am leaves the V8 Supercars field clear for Lexus, Cramb said: “I am not saying anything about Lexus, this is a Toyota discussion.”

However, the sales chief of Lexus Australia's parent company stressed that Toyota's substantial new investment in local car racing was another example indication of the world’s largest car-maker’s growing appetite for motorsport worldwide.

Toyota announced its high-profile return to the World Rally Championship in 2017 last month in Tokyo, when Toyota Racing Australia was also formed in line with its global brand Toyota Racing.

“Akio Toyoda, the big boss of Toyota, has ignited a passion for all things automotive, for cars generally, for racing and for connecting back to the vehicle itself," said Cramb.

“I think the establishment of this Pro-Am series for the 86… is a big step forward as far as that passion is concerned."

On the sensitive issue of V8 Supercar drivers also racing in other series, Cramb said that at this stage Toyota does't expect any full-time V8 competitors to be among the Pro-Am series' professional drivers.

"Those details are yet to be finally decided but we are not proposing that at this point in time. There are a number of different options we have to work our way through and we are having discussions with different people at the moment to establish what is the most appropriate way forward.

"Once again, the focus is to mentor the young. To bring some attention to their race [that] would be brilliant from that respect, but it’s also the mentoring side of things so they need to have the time as well to spend with these young guys who are coming and joining the business of racing."

Seeing as the Toyota 86 incorporates a Subaru built boxer engine, MRT has a plethora of upgrades for them.

Looking for some suspension, braking or cosmetic upgrades before you hit the track in your 86?

Article and images from www.motoring.com.au

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Subaru is celebrating a major milestone in its history, announcing that it has built its 15 millionth boxer engine.

A mechanical trademark of all the models it sells in Australia, the horizontally-opposed engine configuration is commonly dubbed 'boxer' because of the way the pistons pump horizontally instead of vertically, resembling "the punching action of a boxer", says Subaru.

It could be argued that Subaru continues to punch above its weight division by stubbornly sticking to the unique boxer engine design long after all of its direct rivals opted for more conventional inline or vee engine layouts.

Karl Benz was first to patent the boxer engine, which he called the 'contra' engine in 1896, but it was made famous by Volkswagen with its original 'Beetle' and 'Kombi' models.

Today Porsche is the only other volume car-maker employing boxer engine — presently only six-cylinder petrol form — although BMW Motorrad also uses twin-cylinder boxer engines in its motorcycles.

But Subaru produces more boxer engines in more configurations than anyone else, with 2.0- and 2.5-litre four-cylinder, 3.6-litre six-cylinder, naturally aspirated and turbocharged, and petrol and diesel versions all currently in production.

Subaru states that "the opposing pistons work to cancel out the inertia force of each other, resulting in less vibration, superb rotational balance and a smooth, exhilarating feel, right up to the high rev range".

The first mass-produced boxer engine Subaru produced was a water-cooled four-cylinder aluminium engine fitted to the Subaru 1000 compact passenger vehicle back in 1966, making it almost half a century since it embarked on the unorthodox engine journey.

Perhaps its most iconic boxer engine application is found in the WRX, a vehicle that changed the way Australians viewed four-cylinder performance cars in the 1990s, by delivering a turbocharged wallop combined with all-wheel drive grip, which has become another Subaru hallmark in Australia.

Subaru's 'Symmetrical AWD' system is not far off the boxer's milestone either, with 14 million examples produced since 1972, when the first Subaru vehicle to benefit from AWD was the humble Leone 4WD Estate wagon.

Although it's too early to say if Subaru will launch something special in 2016 to celebrate the boxer's half centenary – perhaps with a bonkers WRX STI or something force-fed fitted to the BRZ – it says it has no plans to end its enduring love affair with either the unique engine configuration or AWD layout.

Take a quick look at all the maintainence, aftermarket replacement and performance upgrade parts your Subaru boxer engine could ever need.

MRT knows a thing or two about how to coax some extra power out of the various model Subaru boxer engines - find your car and see what you can enjoy.

Credit to www.motoring.com.au

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The vehicle pictured here is believed to be Subaru's next Impreza, clothed in wide-body WRX sheet metal to disguise its added bulk.

Alternatively, it could also be Subaru's plug-in hybrid model scheduled for release a year later, in 2017. According to the spy photographers it's an either/or situation, with the car caught in the open sporting one narrow exhaust pipe at the rear – along with a rear diff.

So whatever the case may be, either the new Impreza or the plug-in, the car tested here looks set to end up a production all-wheel drive model. Under all the camouflage and olde-worlde panels is a new modular platform Subaru has developed for its broader product range, including possibly a Tribeca replacement – or something very much like that, to seat seven and go a little way off-road.

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Naturally, with modular platforms, the Subaru architecture will offer weight savings that, in combo with direct-injected engines and cylinder deactivation, will improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. Subaru Australia MD Nick Senior has previously told motoring.com.au that with the new-found market share in emerging markets such as Russia and China, Subaru has the economies of scale to persevere with its much-loved boxer engine layout, which could lend itself easily to cylinder deactivation to reduce fuel use.

Search for all your parts needs for all year models of the Subaru Impreza here.

Learn all about the benefits of an EcuTeK upgrade to your Imprezas ECU.

As found at www.motoring.com.au

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The Australian future of what would be a spiritual replacement for the both the discontinued Liberty wagon and WRX hatch will be known within three months, and it could be sold online like the BRZ sports coupe.

A decision on the Levorg's local fate will be made by March next year, said Subaru Australia Managing Director, Nick Senior, at this week's launch of the new Outback, which is the only wagon version of the new Liberty sedan also released this week. The latest WRX and STI, meantime, remain sedan-only models.

Ever since it was revealed at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, Subaru has touted the Levorg as a performance wagon that could replace both the Liberty GT and WRX hatch in Australia.

Powered by either a 125kW 1.6-litre or a circa-200kW 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine borrowed from the WRX, the all-wheel drive Levorg outsells the WRX sedan two to one in Japan.

"There's no secret that we've been looking at Levorg," said the Subaru Australia boss. "It's getting to a stage where a decision will probably be made in quarter one next year, on whether Levorg is going to come here or not."

Sales of the new fourth-generation WRX launched here in March have reached near-record levels — a factor that is likely to have an impact on the decision.

"It's the business case to bring it here, the resource needed by FHI to develop it and homologate it for Australia and when you see a company that's grown from 500,000 to 900,000 units, has been upgrading production plants, launching an ambitious new model platform over the last couple of years, that's certainly a key component of [them] being able to say 'yes you can have it' and us saying 'yes we want it'".

The Levorg has only been in production since early this year and though the name may be an odd one -- derived from various parts of the three words LEgacy, reVOlution and touRinG – it will be retained if it gets the green light here.

Asked if there would be a name change for Australia, Senior said "No. We just feel nowadays with the world a global marketplace, why not capitalise on the name that's been out there?

"We don’t see a lot of sense in changing names."

Although the deal is far from done, the all-paw Levorg wagon could be sold in a similar manner to the BRZ and WRX STI – online.

"We did it with BRZ... we now have STI... we sell on average 2 STIs per month online, mainly to rural buyers. And it may well be there is a combination of both [online and showroom sales for Levorg].

"The combination is more looking at those people who do't have access to a showroom within X amount of driving time," said Senior.

By Feann Torr – www.motoring.com.au

MY15 Subaru WRX exhaust tech info and updates + more.

If the Levorg makes it to Australia then rest assured it will get the usual MRT enchancements such as prior and current model Subarus.

It weighs just over a tonne and packs the Nissan GT-R's twin-turbo V6 beneath its stunning skin. It's the Renault R.S. 01, and it's finally ready to hit the race track.

To celebrate the occasion, Renault Sport has released a video outlining the RCT15 (as it's know internally) on its journey from the drafting board to reality.

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"From the very beginning of the project, our aim was to produce a very high performance car with a carbon chassis and genuine race technology," explains Renault Sport technologies director, Patrice Ratti. "We also wanted it to express the design evolution that is underway at Renault."

It's an interesting statement that suggests Renault will use the R.S 01 not only to compete in this year's nine-round, one-make Renault Sport Trophy series, but as inspiration for the styling of its upcoming models.

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Designed to comply with LeMans prototype regulations, the R.S. 01 fits somewhere between a GT3 sports car and a Deutsche Tourenwagen Master (German Touring Car) championship car. It's 1100kg carbon-fibre body is propelled by the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 found powering Nissa's GT-R, which in the R.S 01 provides 373kW and 600Nm. Power is challenged via a seven-speed Sadev sequential gearbox and limited-slip differential, while braking duties fall to carbon ceramic rotors measuring 380mm.

The R.S. 01 is available for purchase in Europe for the equivalent of $AU500,000. Following its public race track debut last October, the R.S. 01 will be delivered to customers in March. It is expected to make its first competitive appearance at the Spa-Francorchamps towards the middle of the year (2015).

Article & images - www.carsales.com.au

Plenty of braking, handling and suspension replacement and upgrade parts to be found here.

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Mitsubishi revealed its next-generation Triton last month ahead of its Australian launch early next year, but that has't stopped it releasing a final limited-edition version of the outgoing one-tonne workhorse.

On sale now and limited to just 300 vehicles, the Triton GLX-R Warrior is priced at $43,990 drive-away with a five-speed manual transmission and $45,990 drive-away with a five-speed automatic.

That makes it at least $1750 cheaper than the Triton GLX-R 4x4 ($45,740 plus on-road costs) on which it's based – despite the fitment of a host of standard extras.

They include a differential lock, Mitsubishi’s Multi Communication System (MMCS) eight-speaker audio system and MPSS power amplifier, black interior theme with leather seat trim and six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.

On the outside, there are new-look 17-inch alloy wheels, a genuine accessory front nudge bar, flush-fit soft tonneau cover and Warrior decals on the front doors. Charcoal, Cool Silver, Ironbark and White exterior colours will be available.

As per the standard GLX-R, there's a 2.5-litre turbo-diesel engine, Super Select 4WD, stability/traction control, anti-lock brakes, Bluetooth phone and iPod compatibility with voice recognition and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

Credit to www.carsales.com.au

If this model happens to find its' way to your driveway, then look here for exciting torque and power upgrades from MRT.

A video to help you with your Mitsubishi turbo diesel engine.

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Mazda unveiled a hotted up crossover sports they called the CX-3 Racing Concept at last week's Tokyo Auto Salon.

Normally we would have reported about it last week, but Mazda remained tight-lipped about its secrets, leaving us very little to write about.

"Oh, that's just to show off some sporty exterior accessories," was about as much as we could scrounge from staffers at the Auto Salon.

This week we found a staffer willing to give up some information.

"Now, while I ca't say that much, I will say that we are planning on making some sporty versions of the CX-3 and Mazda2, and maybe one or two others," he commented.

What's the bet one of those "one or two others" will be a hot MX-5?

As for the CX-3 Racing concept, if it morphs into a road-going production sports utility vehicle that is actually sporty, the question goes begging: Will anyone in Australia buy it? Or anyone living anywhere else outside of Japan, for that matter?

"The CX-3's lip and roof spoilers, side skirts, coloured accents and larger wheels and tyres all point in the direction we want to take these Racing Concepts," our source added.

Checking out those substantial 17-inch wheels, we could't help but notice the enhanced bright red brake calipers. That points us in the direction of a dress-up kit.

There may be more to it than that, however. When asked about the potential of tweaked performance and suspension settings, our source smiled and just said: "But even with 4WD, do't expect us to produce a CX-3 racing concept with a diesel engine."

Translated, any souped-up CX-3 will definitely be powered by a petrol engine and most probably turbocharged – which is only natural for a sporty SUV. For the record, the car on the stand had a stock 1.5-litre SKYACTIV diesel and no tweaked suspension.

Expect to see a fully reworked production version on the Mazda stand at this year's Tokyo Motor Show. As for exports to the Australia, our contact was not ruling out anything.

By Peter Lyon, from www.motoring.com.au

Click here to view the long list of late model Mazdas that MRT can tune for horsepower hungry owners.

All Mazda dyno data can be viewed and downloaded here.

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To calm the huge Lancer Evolution fan base in Japan that has been suffering withdrawal symptoms ever since Mitsubishi announced it was not building an Evolution 11, the company has struck back with the heavy-hitting Evolution 10 Final Concept.

Incorporating a retuned ECU and new HKS turbo making its 2.0-litre engine good for an eye-watering 353kW, the Final Concept is the most powerful version Mitsubishi has ever made.

The mad Evo is based on a five-speed GSR and generates 135 kilowatts more power than its donor car, with an upgraded cooling system (larger air intakes and intercoolers) designed to improve thermal dynamics. A new exhaust, adjustable suspension from HKS and 19-inch Rays forged wheels are also added.

A Mitsubishi source tells us that when it phases out the six-speed auto 'SST' transmission in March 2015, the limited edition model will be offered to the public with a 6-speed manual. No word on whether it'll be coming to Australia.

The show car is finished in a mix of matte and gloss black, with chrome trim.

By Peter Lyon - www.carsales.com.au

See just a sample of what MRT can do for the performance of the Evolution X.

Upgrade guide for the Evo X.

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Subaru has announced price reductions of between $500 and $1000 for three of its most popular models – the Forester and XV crossovers and the Impreza small car.

All Foresters are now $1000 cheaper than before, meaning pricing now opens at $28,990 plus on-road costs, while all XVs cost $750 less than before, spelling a new base price of $27,740.

Similarly, the Impreza range now starts at $23,490 drive-away — $500 less than the previous entry price of $23,990 drive-away.

Effective from January 16, Subaru says the price reductions are in anticipation of the upcoming free-trade agreement between Australia and Japan, where all of its models are built, bringing lower federal government import duties.

Before then, the company has launched a New Year Sale campaign in which the prices of all Forester, Impreza and XV vehicles currently in dealer stock will be lowered to the same level, this time thanks to subsidies by Subaru Australia.

Subaru Australia Managing Director Nick Senior said the latest price cuts are in line with similar reductions in prices for recent additions including the new Liberty, Outback, WRX and STI.

“This latest development will complete a strategy that we began in March, with the introduction of new generation WRX at an MLP of $38,990 – less than when the original launched 20 years ago, yet packed with specification and features," he said.

“That continued with new WRX STI in April, from $10,000 less than the superseded car, while BRZ added specification at no extra cost, including suspension refinements, sharkfin antenna and carbon fibre-type dashboard treatment.

“Perhaps our biggest statement came last month when new Liberty launched at up to 25 per cent less than the outgoing model, and Outback at up to 17 per cent less.

“This has been a very carefully thought-out long-term strategy to ensure the optimum result for our customers.”

www.motoring.com.au

See how EcuTeK can help improve the power and torque of your late model turbo Subaru.

Watch Brett discuss the MRT XC Power Kit for the MY10 - 12 Forester XT.

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When a car is wrapped in zebra hide-like livery and surrounded by its chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, former Japanese GT driver Masami Kageyama and several senior engineers at a race track, you know something is brewing.

On the day before the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival at Fuji Speedway on November 23, Japan’s biggest car-maker sprung the covers off a rather special Toyota, the GRMN 86, and handed the keys over to Kageyama to throw it around.

Toyota first revealed its intention to produce a lighter, more track-focussed version of its 86 coupe at the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon, where it revealed the GRMN 86 concept created by its motorsport division, which of course stands Gazoo Racing Meister of Nurburgring.

Until now, Toyota has launched limited-edition GRMN versions of the Vitz (Yaris) and iQ, but a road-going car directly inspired by a Nurburgring 24-hour class-winning race car is a first.

As you'd expect, the GRMN 86 employs just about every modification seen on the race car, but for the road. It incorporates a mix of aluminium and carbon-fibre body parts like bespoke front and rear spoilers to reduce kerb weight, bonnet air vents for better cooling, stiffer suspension, drilled brake rotors with six-piston callipers, and grippy 17-inch Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R tyres.

Inside, the coupe gets a specially wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and hand brake as well as lightweight racing seats with greater side support and four-point harnesses. One necessity for a track-day car that appears to have been omitted is the roll-cage.

While a minimalistic approach has been taken on the 86's  naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine, a source close to Toyota tells us that exhaust and ECU revisions have added roughly 20kW, taking the GRMN86’s power up to around 170kW.

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As test driver Kageyama was jumping out of the car after some hot laps to head to a post-test briefing, we managed to corner him for a quick evaluation of the limited-edition GRMN 86.

“The car handles just like a Nurburgring 24-hour spec machine," he said. "It turns in well with loads of steering feel and lets the driver know early what’s happening at the rear-end, which makes correction very readable and progressive.

"It’s quick and very stable in high-speed corners and under heavy braking. I’d say the car’s at around 80 per cent now. We still have a little more work to do on rigidity and ride quality before it’s ready for the road.”

Perhaps he’s referring to the addition of a roll-cage, which would make the car a true Nurburgring-spec road car while adding to its cornering rigidity.

In the absence of concrete pricing hints from Toyota, one source suggested we should double the price of the standard $30,000 86 for a ballpark pricetag when the car is released in mid-2015. For a road-going race car, that’s pretty reasonable.

Article by Jun Harada - www.motoring.com.au

MRT has a comprehensive range of performance upgrades for the 86 (and BRZ) - check out our Power Kit range for starters.

Dyno data for naturally aspirated cars with a re-tune, right through to forced induction and flex fuel tuned cars.

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Subaru has joined a number of other manufacturers, including Toyota, Mitsubishi and Mercedes-Benz, by getting involved with the Gran Turismo 15th anniversary celebration festival known as "Vision Gran Turismo" where digital concept cars are released to gamers as downloadable content.

The Subaru Viziv GT Vision Gran Turismo is a guttural-sounding sports car inspired by the diesel-electric hybrid SUV concept of the same name. The idea is that car designers, in this case those who work at Subaru, get to let loose with the wildest concept they can think of.

Described as a bona fide sports car with "the most aggressive styling and vehicle specs in Subaru's history," the digital realisation is an angular low-slung two-door track weapon with vertical wheel arches and a very prominent rear wing.

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According to Subaru the concept vehicle is specified with a combination 2.0-litre turbocharged boxer engine coupled with a trio of electric motors adding significantly more torque. Two of the electric motors reside at the rear and one up front. According to the number crunchers this should produce a maximum output of 435kW and 800Nm of torque. The concept car weighs just 1380kg due to an abundance of what Subaru calls "carbon materials" in the vehicle's construction.

The net result of the massive torque output and low weight are likely to resolve themselves in a 0-100km/h sprint of around under 4.0 seconds, something that gamers who download the car can probably tell us – feel free to respond in the comments below.

Subaru notes that the concept car's all-wheel drive handling is exceptional, because the electric motors are controlled independently and can apportion torque to individual wheels. Gamers who own a Sony Playstation 3 and a copy of the Gran Turismo 6 game can download the car online.

By Mike Bantick
www.motoring.com.au

MRT Power Kits for your Subaru!

For all your digital content on current and previous model Subarus, check out our YouTube channel.

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It seems Mazda is no closer to reintroducing its long lamented MPS performance brand, with no sign of a turbocharged engine in its near future.

Mazda is understood to be developing a turbocharged version of its 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which will be the sole powerplant for its next-generation CX-9 due by 2016.

While the same engine is expected to power a variety of new MPS models – including the Mazda2, 3 and MX-5 – Mazda's global marketing chief has indicated they may not eventuate before the car-maker's seventh generation of model begins being released in 2017.

"We do't have turbocharged engine yet, so first of all [for] MPS we do't have official project yet." Mazda Motor Corporatio's managing executive officer of global sales and marketing, Masahiro Moro, told us at the Los Angeles motor show yesterday.

As we've reported, Mazda is targeting a further 30 per cent fuel consumption reduction with its SKYACTIV II engines, which will include petrol motors with homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) technology and compression ratios of up to 18.0:1.

The first recipient should be Mazda's first SKYACTIV model, the CX-5, when the second-generation mid-size SUV is released around 2017.

Moro-san told motoring.com.au that Mazda is on target to achieve its lofty efficiency targets, which would see the new CX-5 diesel consume less than 4.5L/100km.

And he confirmed that a turbocharged SKYACTIV engine is being developed.

"Turbo [petrol] engine [is] under development," he said. "We develop gasoline turbo engine. Where we use it I'd like to decline to say."

But Moro-san cautioned that new MPS models will have to wait in the R&D queue behind the new range of SKYACTIV II engines, which essentially apply diesel engine characteristics to petrol engines in the search for optimum fuel burn.

"We need to figure out if we really [should] prioritise to develop MPS line or doing different things. We need to choose the right things to do for Mazda with limited resources.

"I think our main focus is selling current SKYACTIV generation one [models] to allow us to reinvest into the future with generation two. That is our main focus."

The MkII CX-9 will be the last SKYACTIV I (sixth-generation) model to be released, before Mazda begins the rollout of its SKYACTIV II (seventh-generation) model range in 2017.

It now seems unlikely we'll see an MPS version of the new Mazda2 and latest Mazda3 before then, despite recent word that Mazda is planning a 220kW all-wheel drive Mazda3 MPS hot hatch to rival Subaru's WRX STI and the Volkswagen Golf R.

There could also be an MX-5 MPS, but the MPS future for Mazda's flagship 6 and its SUV line-up remains uncertain. Apart from staging the all-new CX-3, Mazda used the LA show reveal an upgraded CX-5 and an upgraded Mazda6.

Mazda's go-fast MPS nameplate was first seen on the Mazda6 between 2005 and 2007, then the Mazda3 between 2006 and 2013. Both were powered by a 190kW/380Nm 2.3-litre inline four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, the former driving all four wheels.

In the same interview that Moro-san said Mazda is unlikely to revive its MPS performance brand within the next two years, he also confirmed that while rotary engine development continues, there is still no official program to create a new-generation rotary sports car .

By Maton Pettendy
www.carsales.com.au

MRT supports the upgrading and factory ECU retuning on many late model Mazdas, such as 3 MPS (Gen I & II), Mazda 6 MPS, Mazda MX5 (NC series) and many more!

Dyno data for the Mazda 3 MPS Gen I

Dyno data for the Mazda 3 MPS Gen II

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Toyota appears poised to re-enter the World Rally Championship, with its Cologne-based motorsports arm currently testing and developing a Yaris-based WRC prototype. Built to comply with the current era of regulations, the car has so far completed six days of testing to give the Toyota Motorsports GmbH (TMG) experience in running a modern world rally car under competitive conditions.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda publicly stated a desire to return to WRC at this year's Monte Carlo Rally, but TMG's program does not yet have approval from Japan. A decision is expected by the end of 2014, however a TMG spokesman said that even if official approval is not given, it's possible development will continue and cars at both WRC and WRC2 level will be offered to privateers.

Regardless of whether or not the program receives official backing from Toyota, it's unlikely a car will be seen on the stages until at least 2017, a year in which the WRC is expected to usher in a new era of regulations. Toyota last competed in the WRC in 1999, winning the manufacturer's championship, while Neal Bates competed locally in a Corolla WRC until 2001.

With Volkswagen recently extending its commitment to the WRC until 2019, Toyota's involvement sets up the tantalising prospect of the world's two largest car makers going head-to-head in the forest.

Information and images Motor Magazine.

Search through hundreds of excellent aftermarket parts from all the leading brands for your model Toyota.

Whilst MRT does't offer Power Kits for the Yaris, we do offer some exciting options for the Toyota 86.

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The first new-generation Mitsubishi Triton ute in eight years is coming to Australia in mid-2015, promising to deliver more utility, safety, efficiency and improved comfort levels.

Launched in Thailand today, from where Australian models will be sourced, the new fifth-generation Triton will compete in Australia's light commercial vehicle segment, doing battle with perennial favourites such as the top-selling Toyota HiLux and second-placed Ford Ranger.

The Triton is currently the third-best selling light commercial ute in Australia.

Boasting "muscular, sleek and dynamic styling" the new 2015 Triton now features obligatory LED running lights and is being pitched as more user-friendly than its predecessor. Comfort and noise levels are on par with many passenger cars, claims the Japanese company.

Improved refinement levels come via the adoption of an all-aluminium 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine which, for the Thai market, pumps out 133kW/430Nm, as well as improved insulation materials and a new aerodynamic exterior.

Gear shifting is taken care of by a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

The new 2.4-litre oiler is dubbed 4N15 and uses common rail direct fuel injection to deliver diesel into the cylinders. It is 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the previous range-topping 2.5-litre turbo-diesel (130kW/400Nm) according to Mitsubishi, which will be retained in some markets, albeit with "improvements". Ditto for the carryover 2.4-litre petrol engine (94kW/194Nm).

No fuel consumption figures have been announced, but in future a parallel hybrid version of the Triton will offer customers a low emission choice.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia will retain the popular three body style Triton range, including single cab, club and double cab body types, with rear and four-wheel drive available.

As well as a newly-designed cabin with a tidy-looking touch-screen display, Triton has more interior room than before, particularly the double cab models: they get an increase of 20mm in legroom and 10mm more shoulder room. Based on the Thai press material, the cargo bed's length and width are unchanged but there is more load space thanks to an increase in depth.

The Triton will retain its class-leading turning circle of 11.8 metres kerb to kerb, and the 'Easy Select' 4WD system on applicable variants will also carry over, offering three modes: 2H, 4H and 4L.

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Mitsubishi Motors Australia Executive Director of Marketing, Tony Principe, declared the new Triton will continue the success of the current model as a dual role work and family vehicle.

"New Triton makes a significant leap forward in all areas, particularly in terms of passenger comfort, manoeuvrability and efficiency, and still delivers on the toughness, reliability and off-road performance that have made Triton such a success in Australia," he said

Although details are likely change for Australian market models, there are few new features that truly push the envelope in terms of technology or safety. In the face of renewed competition from the facelifted Ford Ranger, launching at around the same time in mid-2015, this could be a tough challenge for the Mitsubishi ute.

The new Ranger is expected to benefit from a range of advanced technologies announced in the Everest SUV, which could include automatic emergency braking and a curve control system designed to keep the vehicle in control if it approaches a corner too quickly.

Nevertheless, Mitubishi Motors Australia may be holding a few aces up its sleeve in terms of technology, the company's Head of Corporate Communications, Shayna Welsh, telling motoring.com.au the new Triton "will be a five-star [ANCAP]" vehicle, the highest safety rating possible.

The current dual cab Triton measures 5210mm in length, whereas the new version is slightly longer at 5280mm. However the wheelbase of 3000mm is identical to the previous model.

Ground clearance varies between 195mm and 205mm depending on the model. Dual cab models have approach and departure angles of 30 and 22 degrees. Rampover angle is 24 degrees.

As Mitsubishi Motors Australia's highest-selling vehicle, the Triton is crucial to the success of the brand – here and overseas. The Triton will eventually be sold in a total of 150 countries world-wide, including regions such as Europe, Oceania, Africa and Middle East. So far in 2014 more than one million Tritons have found homes.

Mitsubishi says it will confirm the specification and pricing of the new Triton ute closer to its local launch in mid-2015. For the record, the current Triton retails for between $20,990 and $48,240.

Words by Feann Torr, www.motoring.com.au

MRT has enjoyed great success in tuning and enhancing both the current Triton and the previous model too. Check out our Power Kits here - the 2.5lt engine and the 3.2lt engine.

We also stock a huge range of Whiteline suspension upgrades (including the best bang for your buck swaybars), replacement brake parts and even nudge bars, bull bars and more. Show me now.

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Subaru Australia has confirmed the new sixth-generation Liberty medium sedan will arrive in Australia in January 2015. The new model will present a more premium look that incorporates the WRX's 'hawk-eye' headlights and hexagonal grille.

Although pricing and details wo't be confirmed until December 2014, the Japanese company confirmed the sporty-looking Liberty will benefit from the most advanced version of its EyeSight driver assist system.

Eyesight features a collection of cameras, radars and sensors that can intervene to reduce the impact of – or even avoid – collisions by automatically applying the brakes and even steering the car. Subaru Australia says the advanced safety technology reduces the cost of ownership. Some insurers already offer premium reductions on cars equipped with EyeSight, including Allianz and IAG.

All variants of the new Subaru Liberty will be equipped as standard with the EyeSight safety technology, which now add features like brake light recognition and pre-collision steering assist. The various sensors dotted around the car have also been upgraded, providing "approximately 40 per cent improvement in distance and wide angle range" says the importer.

The full list of upgrades to EyeSight are as follows:

- Pre-Collision Braking – augmented with braking assistance.
- Pre-Collision Steering Assist – if the possibility of collision with a vehicle or obstacle in front occurs, Vehicle Dynamics Control activates to assist the driver in potentially avoiding it.    
- Adaptive Cruise Control – improved performance when a vehicle cuts in front of the car during traffic jams and on highways. There are four levels of inter-vehicle distance setting.
- Overall performance improvement – uses latest 3D image processing for easier recognition of lateral and distant vehicles, stabilizing control in all speed zones and improving pedestrian pre-collision detection.
- Logic Improvements - contributes to better system operation, helping maintain performance in bad weather conditions.
- Structural revisions - Cameras are positioned closer to the windscreen to reduce cabin intrusion.

As well as a focus on safety, the next Liberty will build on quality and refinement says the company. Interiors feature a new infotainment system with a large touchscreen incorporating satellite navigation and harman/kardon speakers. New interior materials will also up the luxury ante, and more room is also expected.

The 2015 Subaru Liberty's new chassis gets new brakes, suspension and steering. A stiffer body is also claimed to improved noise, vibration and harshness levels.

Subaru Australia Managing Director, Nick Senior, said the safety updates in particular will ensure renewed interest in the sixth-generation Liberty.

"EyeSight driver assist takes our safety commitment even further, potentially preventing collisions or reducing the severity," Senior stated.

"Another hidden benefit of EyeSight is that, if a collision does occur, the [windscreen mounted] position of the cameras helps avoid potentially costly damage to them. Some competing systems have sensors and equipment located right at the front of the car, including the grille, and this can be an expensive repair exercise," he said.

Engines have not yet been confirmed, but Subaru Liberty cars making their way to Australia are likely to get similar engine type to the US, where the car is called the Legacy. That means 2.5-litre four-cylinder (130kW) and 3.6-litre six-cylinder (190kW) boxer engines. Subaru and Porsche are the only mainstream car-makers that use the boxer or horizontally opposed engine configuration.

Gearboxes will include Subaru’s Lineartronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with steering wheel paddles for the six-speed 'manual' mode. There has been no talk of the turbocharged 2.5-litre boxer four at this stage.

Subaru has canned the Liberty wagon. An alternative model, the Levorg, could be sold in Australia instead. Otherwise wagon duties will be left to the Outback.

Sales of the Subaru Liberty in Australia have been slow for the first nine months of 2014, with just 793 vehicles finding homes. This just 2.1 per cent of the medium car segment in which the Subaru competes which competes with the likes of Mazda6, Skoda Octavia, Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat.

Liberty is even outsold by the Kia Optima's 1046 units (2.8 per cent). The top-selling car in the category is the Toyota Camry with 15,781 units, or 42.6 per cent market share.


As can be found at www.carsales.com.au

Whilst we are yet to hear any confirmed specs for the engine and ECU combination we are hopeful that there will be means to use EcuTeK tuning software to allow access and customing tuning of the ECU, as we have done for many years with almost all of the turbo model Liberties, Imprezas and Foresters.

Keep an eye out in early January as we are hopeful that we will have had the chance to check out this new model and begin to give perspective new owners an idea of what products we will be able to offer them.

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Nissan Australia has announced the 2015 model year Nissan GT-R will be arriving in local dealerships from early 2015, bringing with it several mechanical tweaks and improvements to ride comfort.

Although Nissan is not admitting its fierce supercar has gone soft, the company is pitching the 2015 model as a more refined beast "with a more mature, civilised attitude".

It's possible that Nissan is softening the GT-R with a view towards the next-generation R36 GT-R model, expected in 2017, which is rumoured to be adopting a hybrid system to meet emissions targets.

The fire-breathing 2015 Nissan GT-R will retain its 3.8-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 engine, pumping out 404kW/628Nm via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. With its ATESSA all-wheel drive system it scorches from 0-100km/h in just 2.7 seconds.

In our most recent review of the GT-R, last month, we noted that "Noise suppression, never a GT-R strength, is superior to earlier iterations, however, the combination of run-flat tyre roar and sheer mechanical noise sees the Nissan lagging behind European rivals."

Responding to feedback, Nissan has 're-tuned' engine and transmission management systems, in a bid to improve refinement. Nissan says transaxle and driveshaft backlash have been modified to "reduce vibration and noise coming from stepping on and off the accelerator pedal". In other words driveline shunt has been lessened.

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Modifications to the bearings inside the flywheel housing also help reduce driveline noise says Nissan and another potentially significant mechanical change to the 2015 GT-R is reworked suspension.

The damping rates of the GT-R's adjustable Bilstein shock absorbers and their computer-controlled management has been modified to "improve cornering stability" says Nissan, which could mean more compliance to better absorb mid-corner bumps.

We'll find out early next year, once we get our hands on the new model, to see how the changes manifest in real-world terms. Nissan says the suspension changes allow the driver "to trace the desired driving line" and "reduce the amount of steering corrections necessary on rough roads", suggesting more compliance has been dialled in – and which would also improve mooted changes to ride comfort.

Other changes made to the updated 2015 GT-R include revised tyres, again designed to improve "stability over uneven road surfaces", tweaked brakes designed to enhance pedal feel and steering adjustments that reduce vibrations at engine idle.

In its bid to deliver higher levels of refinement, Nissan has even employed new carpet in the boot to improve sound insulation. New-look RAYS double-spoke aluminium-alloy wheels will be offered on GT-R Premium Edition models too. Nissan has made no mention of changes to the cabin.

The current 2014 Nissan GT-R starts at $172,000, and Nissan Australia has been contacted regarding any price changes for 2015.

Article and image from www.motoring.com.au

Did you know MRT offer Power Kits and upgrades galore for the R35 GTR?

Search for all your R35 tuning, suspension and transmission needs here - simply select your year, make and model to browse our range.

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One-make series for Toyota's low-cost sports car will be 'accessible' for amateurs and pros alike. Toyota plans to introduce a one-make race series for the 86 sports car from 2016.

The series was announced during the Festival of 86 event, which was held over the weekend and attended by Tetsuya Tada, the sports car's global chief engineer (pictured here with fans at the event).

"We just made an announcement at the Festival of 86 because Tada-san was going to be there," explained Mike Breen, Toyota Australia's public relations manager.

"We thought we'd use that opportunity to at least announce there would be [a one-make series] in 2016. But we're not quite at the stage yet where we can give any more detail."

Breen did confirm that the series would be open both to drivers who race for a living and those in it just for the fun factor.

"It will be a Pro-Am... so we're looking at having professional drivers as well as amateurs, and we want to try and make it accessible to as many people as possible."

While the 86 has drawn fire from some quarters for lacking real punch in a straight line, the very nature of the car's specification is likely to make for close racing. Breen told motoring.com.au that competition cars will remain very close to production specification.

"The modifications to cars will be minimal... to maintain the reliability and durability of the cars under racing conditions."

According to the Toyota spokesman, the company will reveal further details in the first quarter of next year.


Written by Ken Gratton
As found at www.motoring.com.au

MRT Power Kits for the Toyota 86 (Scion FR-s in the USA) & Subaru BRZ.

Looking to get into some track racing fun with your 86 (or BRZ), then look no further as the complete range of Whiteline suspension upgrades can be viewed here!

Dyno data galore for all kinds of naturally aspirated and forced induction upgrades to 86's and BRZ's.

 

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MAZDA says it is on the verge of a breakthrough that will make the next-generation of vehicles significantly quieter from the occupants’ point of view.

Addressing some long-standing criticism of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) issues, the company is developing rigid body shells that are said to be more effective in resisting or quelling sound transmission than before.

While the actual details remain under wraps, it is believed that the advances relate to alterations concerning sheet-metal bonding, welding, thickness and blanks.

Mazda Motor Corporation program manager for CX-5 and CX-9, Masashi Otsuka said the Japanese car-maker is now prioritising NVH reduction in the same way that it is pursuing better crashworthiness in all future models.

“In the past we concentrated on crash tests first, but now cutting NVH is also very important,” he revealed to GoAuto at the Mazda brand immersion event in Hiroshima this week.

While recent efforts involving different tyre and damper choices have been partially successful in making Mazdas quieter from inside the cabin, the 25-year engineering veteran admitted that more work needs to be done to meet both media and customer refinement expectations.

“NVH reduction – I think we can find another solution,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.

“In the past there has been a trade-off between (lowering) NVH and steering, like making the tyres softer… but we have had to change the mindset in finding the solution here.

“Noise is transmitted from the road to the tyre and dampers through the body as vibrations that then reaches the people inside… so we have to develop an entire system… and not just the tyres and dampers… to improve NVH at Mazda.”

It is unclear which future passenger car or SUV will be the first to see the fruit of this breakthrough.

Though it is unlikely that the all-new Mazda2 light car, due in Australia by year’s end will be the first, the next-gen MX-5 Roadster and the long-awaited CX-3 compact SUV that will follow during 2015 may be the earliest beneficiaries of the changes.

Buyers may have to wait until the CX-9 replacement arrives in 2016 or the second wave of SkyActiv models, led by the second-gen CX-5 in about 2017, for the refinement upgrades to make themselves felt.

“We are in the middle of the development of the breakthrough so it will take some more time,” Mr. Otsuka said, “… but it will be incorporated in the near future.”

With Mazda’s line-up encapsulating everything from B-segment light cars to full-sized seven-seater SUV crossovers, the results of the NVH-quelling efforts are expected to vary.

As a consequence Mr. Otsuka said that his company would remain vigilant in meeting the ever-shifting consumer standards.

“While we respect journalists comments, at the same time we value what the customer says… we listen to both voices,” he said.

“If I am a good engineer then we would never be truly satisfied with any results… at Mazda we are striving to be better all the time.”

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS
www.goauto.com.au

MRT Power Kits for many popular late model Mazdas can be viewed here. All kits come with MRT's warranty and satisfaction gaurantee!

Looking for alignment and chassis component upgrades for your Mazda?

Try searching through the entire Whiteline suspension catalogue here.

 

Remember the Subaru SVX?  Yes, that stylish Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned 3.3 litre coupe from the early 90s ?  

"It's making a comeback, and with a six-cylinder boxer hybrid setup," says a source close to Subaru. If you look at the fact that the company is registering record profits, has two new Viziv crossover concepts on the motor show circuit that hint at a future design, and wants to build a large, high-powered sports coupe for the US market, then a reinterpreted SVX makes perfect sense. And do't be surprised if the name changes.

The image you see here is based on an advanced sketch shown to us by our source and reveals a shooting brake-style coupe that promises the very best handing Subaru has to offer.

Boasting a low-slung side profile, flared fenders and an angled shooting brake styled C-pillar, the new SVX will redefine Subaru's corporate look.  The new coupe's headlights are heavily influenced by the Viziv 2 Concept shown at last year's Tokyo Motor Show, as is the grille and high waistline. As reported in a recent story, Subaru's chief designer Mamoru Ishii, says that the company will focus more resources on creating better looking designs in the future so we can expect an even more refined exterior than you see here.

From what we are hearing from our source, the new SVX is a large, high-powered coupe that is being strongly requested by American dealers who want a high performance, grand tourer style of coupe to lift brand image and draw a wider clientele to their showrooms.

The now out-of-production SVX employed a 176kW 3.3 litre flat-six that was married to Subaru's signature 4WD system. In line with the next-generation Tribeca due out in 2016, the new SVX will slot into the lineup above that model and will be the flagship of the range, says our source. Obviously its main market will be the US, but countries such as Australia and the UK are on the list as well.

The reinterpreted SVX will employ a Subaru Global Platform (SGP) that will go online from the all-new Tribeca in 2016. The point of this new construction, according to our source, is to permit an "axle-forward layout" and electrification (ie: hybridisation).

Given that the boxer engine and 4WD layout have never been a very frugal combination at the pump, Subaru are pulling all stops to create a powerful, great handling coupe that meets the new stringent CO2 emissions regulations and delivers acceptable mileage.  To achieve that result, Subaru engineers are developing a new 3.3 litre flat six with direct injection and a longer stroke that will be married to a powerful Lexus plug-in hybrid unit and Subaru's signature 4WD system.

"In contrast to the XV Crosstrek's hybrid unit that was developed in-house by Subaru, the SVX's hybrid system needs to cater to a much more powerful engine, so needs the assistance of Lexus' plug-in hybrid system," explains our source.

By using the Lexus unit, Subaru would save a lot in R&D costs as well. Power is expected to clear 280kW which places it in the same ballpark as the Tesla Model S, which we are told is considered by Subaru to be one of its rivals.

Expected to land in showrooms in 2017, the reinterpreted SVX will be built at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in the central USA, our source tells us.

Picture courtesy of Holiday Auto magazine

Article by Peter Lyon, as found at www.carsales.com.au

If you own one of the original model Subaru SVX's and need some hard to find genuine items, try our list of what is still available for your car.

SVX braking, service and suspension items can be found here.

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MITSUBISHI is racing back to the clouds this month for its third attempt at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb title, in a 450kW version of its zero-emissions MiEV electric racer.

The Japanese car-maker just missed out on the number one spot last year, finishing second in the modified electric class behind Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima's E-Runner, but with a 50kW power boost, wider tyres and more downforce, its sights are firmly set on victory in 2014.

Previous versions of the MiEV Evolution race-car bore some resemblance to the i-MiEV production road car on which it is loosely based, but in its third generation, any visual similarity to the compact EV town-car has been lost.

Under the evolved carbon-fibre body and tubular steel space-frame, some original road car components remain, but the two standard drive motors and battery have been tweaked and are joined by two extra motors, each producing more than 112kW.

For 2014 the four-wheel drive system has a revised S-AWC controller, which Mitsubishi claims gives the car more grip over last year's Evolution II and the edge it needs to snatch victory from the competition.

Mitsubishi will take two MiEV cars to what is often referred to as 'the race to the clouds' due to its dizzying finish line at 4300 meters above sea-level – so high even trees ca't survive.

One car will be piloted by two-time Dakar champion Hiroshi Masuoka who drove the Evolution II to second place at last years contest, while the second MiEV will make the climb with six-time Pikes Peak motorcycle class winner Greg Tracy at the helm.

The world's highest race is still dominated by internal combustion engine powered racers, but electric power gives high-altitude racers an advantage over air-dependent powerplants, which may soon see that prominence turned on its head.

Massive turbo-boost pressures partly compensate for the asthmatic breathing of petrol and diesel engines at great height, but the low air-pressure also inhibits its ability to cool radiators and brakes too.

At altitude, a liquid's boiling-point is also lower, meaning hydraulic brake systems vapour-lock and cooling systems boil-over under much lower loads.

With regenerative braking and minimal cooling systems, electric cars like the MiEV have the potential to hit the mountain harder and for longer, so it may not be long before electric technology overtakes the monstrous unlimited class vehicles.

Sebastian Loeb became the current king of the mountain in 2013, after completing the 20 kilometres and 156 turns in just under eight minutes and 14 seconds, setting a new Pikes Peak record in his Peugeot 208 T16.

Last year also saw the modified electric class record broken by Tajima's E-Runner Pikes Peak Special, which now stands at nine minutes and 45.5 seconds.

Mitsubishi North America vice president Don Swearingen said that the challenges of Pikes Peak are a punishing test of relatively new technology.

"Pikes Peak is an excellent laboratory for testing our advanced MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) technology," he said.

"It not only features high elevations but also a range of weather conditions to challenge the performance and reliability of our technology."

This year 13 different classes and about 150 competitors will battle it out on the sheer sides of the Colorado mountain, beginning on June 23 and culminating a week later with the unlimited class.

By Daniel Gardner
www.goauto.com.au

MRT supports a large range of late model Mitsubishi petrol and diesel turbo vehicles with tuning options. Click here to browse the list for your make and model!

Mitsubishi braking, cosmetic and suspension upgrades can be found here.

 

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The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ sports car twins have revitalised the lower the end of the sports car market since arriving in mid-2012, but owners and critics have often lamented one aspect, a lack of power.

With rumours of TMG 86s and STI BRZs cropping up every other month, many customers turn to the aftermarket for performance enhancements, and now Cosworth is weighing in with its own modifications.

UK engineering company and former F1 engine supplier Cosworth is currently offering 'stage 1' Power Packages, which hike the 2.0-litre direct-injection boxer engine's power from the regular 147kW to 164kW (220hp) and up to 171kW (230hp).

The upgrade kits will be offered in Australia via Sydney-based MRT Performance. As the exclusive Australian dealer for Cosworth, MRT's managing director, Brett Middleton, said cars fitted with the kits would retain their factory warranty when "supplied and fitted by us".

Pricing is yet to be confirmed in Australia but the kits wo't come cheap, as Cosworth is charging UK customers £2000, £2699 and £3799 for the stage 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 kits respectively. At the time of writing that converts to roughly $3600, $4900 and $6900.

Middleton told motoring.com.au that local pricing "varies with exchange rate and we are currently finalising pricing".

The packages add a small number of new parts to the 86/BRZ, the basic stage 1.1 package comprising a polished stainless-steel cat-back sports exhaust system, high-flow air filter and an ECU tweak that hikes power by 17 kilowatts to 164kW.

Cosworth says the packages were developed "using the same methods employed in Formula One and sports car racing" and has crafted the entire range of upgrades packs to be forwards compatible. The idea of a staged approach gives customers an "affordable path to upgrade their vehicles" according to Cosworth.

Stage 1.2 adds an 'overpipe' or front exhaust with a spherical resonator and matching ECU tweaks to boost power to 167kW, while stage 1.3 adds a tubular exhaust manifold with thermal ceramic coating and further ECU calibrations to reach 171kW.

Cosworth is also working on stage 2 and 3 packages, which will take power to 242kW (325hp) and 283kW (380hp), and will be available in the "next couple of months" said Jason Watkins, Cosworth's global sales manager of performance parts.

MRT will offer all three Cosworth stage one power packs and confirmed that the high-end stage two and three packs will also be available in Australia in due course. No firm date on the kits' local arrival has been mooted, Middleton noting that it depends on demand and supply.

At present MRT Performance's most popular vehicle tuning program in Australia is for the Mitsubishi Triton ute and the company already offers several packages for the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, including a twin-charged 184kW 86 Project. Middleton says that car has now been tuned to 250kW.

Australia is the third biggest Toyota 86 market in the world after Japan and the US, with more than 10,000 of the vehicles sold here. However sales of the new Toyota 86 are now waning: between January and May 2014, Toyota sold 2001 of its iconic sports car, down more than a third (-34.4%) on last year's 3051 sales for the same period.

BRZ sales are also down from 601 sales to 389 during the same time frame, representing a 35% drop.

Nevertheless the car is still proving to be a popular tuner car, and Cosworth Group Chief Executive Hal Reisiger, said the company has "significantly altered its approach to performance aftermarket. We are now able to supply completely validated solutions – as an entire system – to guarantee reliability and performance.

"This is a huge step change and one that will enable Cosworth to become the performance upgrade partner of choice for car manufacturers, as well as tuning professionals and enthusiasts around the world," he said.

Article by Feann Torr, www.carsales.com.au

An all new (and updated) Cosworth parts list for all makes and models will be coming to the MRT catalogue soon. Keep up to date here.

For all enquiries relating to the above article and power packs, contact MRT via the most convenient means for you!

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Update, June 25: Transport for NSW has today confirmed it will adopt the same 130kW/tonne P-plate restrictions as Victoria, effective from August 1, 2014. However there are caveats for high-performance vehicles.

The NSW state government minister for roads and freight, Duncan Gay, said "Cars that remain banned for p-platers include cars above 130 kilowatts per tonne, and a few models that have performance characteristics that pose a high risk for inexperienced drivers.

"For example the 2007 Subaru WRX has a power-to-mass ratio of 123 kilowatts per tonne, but is banned because it can also go from zero to 100 in less than six seconds," Minister Gay said.

"The new policy incorporates the recently agreed national definition of high performance vehicles with around 7,500 vehicles to remain banned for P-platers.

"Finding out whether a vehicle is okay will also be easier with the launch next week of a new web-based tool on the Centre for Road Safety website (roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au) to let P-plate drivers, their families and employers easily check whether they can drive a particular model," Gay said.
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Common sense has prevailed in New South Wales, with major changes to the controversial P-plate vehicle restrictions regime to be announced soon, motoring.com.au has learned.

Australia's most populous state will join the likes of South Australia, Queensland and Victoria in adopting a new scheme for P-platers that does't put a blanket ban on all turbocharged vehicles.

Several small-capacity, low-output vehicles well suited to first-car buyers are on the banned P-plate list in NSW due to their use of a turbocharger.

Fifteen or 20 years ago turbo-petrol passenger cars were often limited to high-performance sports cars, but today car-makers are increasingly adopting downsized turbo technology in their smallest, most efficient vehicles to bring down fleet-average CO2 emissions.

The Ford Fiesta EcoBoost is an example. Powered by a three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that outputs 92kW, the Fiesta EcoBoost is on the "cannot drive" list for P-platers under current NSW regulations.

Inexplicably, however, a high-performance naturally-aspirated sports car such as the Lotus Elise (pictured) can legally be driven by a P-plater in NSW.

The current rule set will change under new regulations, which motoring.com.au understands will be announced by NSW Roads and Maritime Services soon.

It's not clear exactly what system will be adopted in NSW, but it's likely to mirror Victoria's new power-to-weight system, which comes into effect on July 1.

It allows P-platers to drive vehicles with a power-to-weight ratio of 130kW per tonne or less, unless it is manufactured before January 1, 2010, in which case the previous rule applies.

Previously, all Victorian P-platers were banned from driving vehicles with turbocharged or supercharged engines (other than diesels), engines with eight cylinders or more and engines modified to increase performance.

VicRoads will publish a new list of banned vehicles in Victoria on July 1.

Transport for NSW spokesperson, Michelle Perks, would't comment on detailed changes to P-plate restrictions, but said the regulatory body was "working out more details".

Words by Feann Torr, www.motoring.com.au

MRT offers a range of upgrades and modifications for cars that fall under the current P-plate legal system, check for your vehicle here.

The 2015 Subaru WRX STI that Mark Higgins threw around the Isle of Man TT circuit was basically a stock production STI. But it needed to be upgraded mainly for safety reasons. Subaru knew the upgrades made to the new-generation WRX STI would enable the performance car to go faster than the previous generation car that Higgins drove three years earlier. Why did they need to make changes to the stock STI?

It was basically a stock STI Mark Higgins ran around the Isle of MAN TT circuit. They did need to make some modifications for safety reasons. A transponder was used for tracking the car around the track and a fire suppression system was added in case of a fire.

High-speed tires needed
The most important change was made to upgrade the tires. The 2015 WRX STI was shod with Dunlop Derezza tires so it could handle the incredible speeds on the 37-mile course during the record run. Dominick Infante, National Manager of Product Communication for Subaru of America said they had a goal to hit 164 mph on the run that day.
The upgraded Dunlop performance tires were wrapped around the stock Gold BBS wheels because they ran the car at 160 mph for extended periods of time. They kept the stock Brembo brakes but they did change out the pads for additional safety with the hard braking Higgins did around the corners.

The interior gets a FIA-spec roll cage
The interior received most of the changes and it got a complete FIA-spec roll cage to protect Mark Higgins in the case of an accident on the circuit. It was upgraded with racing seats with a full racing harnesses to keep Higgins planted in the seat during the high speed corners he was taking.
Higgins was confident in this new STI because the new-generation chassis received improvements over the previous generation car with a 40 percent stiffer frame, which makes the car much more stable at high speeds. The production car also received a new 13:1 ratio steering rack with hydraulic steering to give the stock STI a much quicker feel.

IOM a great test for the 2015 STI
The STI uses four differentials that work with the all-wheel-drive system and are controlled by a computer. apportioning torque and traction when needed. The Isle of Man TT course has varying types of road surfaces and traction needs and was a great test for the system.
IOM asked Subaru to change the exhaust system and make it louder for safety reasons.The STI received a high decibel straight exhaust for crowd safety. The speed limiter was also removed from the car. Another big change was made to the ECU where they removed the electronic limiters so they could let the car go at top speeds of 164 mph. The top speed on the dash cam in the video below was 166 mph.

Higgins wears a body monitor
Also new for this year's record run was Mark Higgins had a body monitor strapped around him to monitor heart rate in beats per minute, breathing rate in breaths per minute, body temperature, and also the G-force on his body. He was surprised at the results after the race. His heart rate was slow until he began the record run, and then his body matched the car's acceleration.
Higgins driving a U.S. spec 2015 Subaru WRX STI broke his lap record of the fabled 37-mile course with an average lap speed of 117.510 and a time of 19 minutes and 15 seconds. Watch the video below and see Higgins hit 166 mph.

To see the video of the record shattering run, click here.

Article, image and video link from www.torquenews.com

See how EcuTeK can help turn your daily driver or track toy into a record breaker!

Dyno graphs of dozens of different model cars and their specs when tuned using EcuTeK.

 

sti iom- the car

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Hyundai is not confirming that the car pictured here will ever go into series production – or even campaign on a race track – but as a promotional tool it's sure to get tongues wagging.

Named the Veloster RM [rear midship], the concept car looks like the front-wheel drive Veloster Turbo, but draws on a radical reconstruction with the 2.0-litre Theta GDI four-cylinder engine bolted into place behind the driver. Clearly that means the engine drives to the rear wheels, and with turbocharging and direct injection amping up the power to 300ps (about 220kW), there should be no shortage of performance.

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Aluminium suspension helps reduce weight, further enhancing the car's performance. Hyundai states that the Veloster RM features a highly rigid construction, aiding safety and vehicle dynamics.

The concept car has been developed by Im Sebin and Hwang Injin, who collaborated on Hyundai's i20 WRC car. It follows in the footsteps of front-wheel drive small cars that lent their looks to rear-wheel drive race and rally weapons like the Austin Metro 6R4 and the Renault 5 Turbo.

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The appearance of the Veloster RM even caught Hyundai Australia by surprise. It's existence was telegraphed in a press release for the show that featured the release of the new 'AG' long-wheelbase luxury mid-size sedan.


Special thanks to motoring.com.au 's Korean colleagues at Encarsales who supplied our exclusive Busan show images

As can be seen at www.motoring.com.au and www.carsales.com.au

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Current Hyundai owners looking for performance, suspension and brake upgrades can head on over to the MRT online catalogue to see the latest and greatest from dozens of brands!

 

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Google has unveiled its first car and, as expected, it's fully autonomous and does not incorporate a steering wheel, pedals or gearshifter.
Instead, Google's first completely self-designed vehicle uses GPS, cameras and sensors that can 'see' up to 220 metres away to navigate its way to a predetermined address.

Unlike the internet search engine's previous vehicles, which were based on the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX, Google's first indigenous concept car is an all-new, all-electric vehicle built from the ground up and featuring just two seats.

"We're now exploring what fully self-driving vehicles would look like by building some prototypes. They'll be designed to operate safely and autonomously without requiring human intervention," said the director for Google's self-driving car project, Chris Urmson.

"They wo't have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal… because they do't need them. Our software and sensors do all the work."

Top speed is limited to just 25 miles an hour (40km/h) and passengers are accommodated in a minimalist, bubble-shaped cabin with an integrated roll cage.

"On the inside, we've designed for learning, not luxury, so we're light on creature comforts, but we'll have two seats (with seatbelts), a space for passengers' belongings, buttons to start and stop and a screen that shows the route-and that's about it."

The Google car was unveiled in the US this week by CEO Sergey Brin. Google says an unnamed Detroit-based manufacturer built about 100 prototypes for testing from mid-year, before a US-based pilot program begins in coming years.

"If all goes well, we'd like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years," he said.

"We're going to learn a lot from this experience, and if the technology develops as we hope, we'll work with partners to bring this technology into the world safely."

Google says its goal is to produce vehicles that "shoulder the entire burden of driving", thereby eliminating drunk and distracted driving, providing transport for elderly or disabled people and, potentially, forming the taxi fleet of the future.

The Google car has many hurdles to jump before it hits showrooms, however.

Current legislation in most countries prevents the use of self-driving vehicles and, in the US, autonomous vehicles are permitted only in California, Nevada and Florida.

But even in those states, the legislation generally expects a human driver to assume control in an emergency. To comply with California automated-driving regulations issued on May 20, Google's first prototype cars will therefore be built with manual controls.

www.motoring.com.au

 

A Japanese report has claimed Mazda will produce a hot turbocharged 2.5-litre MPS version of Australia's most popular small car – complete with all-wheel drive for the first time – within just two years.

The surprise news comes from Holiday Auto magazine, which quotes inside sources as saying a turbo version of Mazda's largest four-cylinder SKYACTIV engine will be ready for release in the new Mazda3 MPS hot hatch in 2016.

While that timing would coincide with a midlife makeover for the third-generation Mazda3, launched in Australia early this year, a version of the turbocharged 2.5-litre MPS engine could also see duty in Mazda's next CX-9.

The latter is expected to debut at the Los Angeles motor show in November and – along with the new MX-5, which will also be revealed this year – will mark the renewal of Mazda's entire model range based on SKYACTIV body, chassis and engine technology.

As such, the new CX-9 will be lighter, which should negate the need for V6 power, even in the US. Mazda stopped developing V6 engines in the late 1990s and employs a Ford V6 in the current CX-9, but has indicated the new model will offer either straight-six or turbo-four power and will again eschew a diesel engine.

A 2.5-litre turbo-four could provide the answer not only for the Mazda3 MPS and CX-9 but, potentially, a new-generation Mazda6 MPS.

Mazda does not currently offer any MPS models as it's yet to produce MPS versions of either the Mazda3 or 6. It has consistently said it will not do so until it has completed the replacement of its core volume models, including the Mazda6, 3 and 2, which will be launched here later this year.

Mazda previously hinted at a diesel-powered MPS model, but that space now appears to be filled by this week's announcement of the Mazda3 XD Astina, powered by the Mazda6's 129kW/420Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel and available with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

On sale from September, the Mazda3 diesel sports hatch is expected to be far more popular than the previous manual-only Mazda3 Diesel, which accounted for less than one per cent of sales.

While the next Mazda3 MPS hot hatch should remain manual-only, according to Holiday Auto it will be fitted with all-wheel drive for the first time. That would make it less of a handful to drive than its front-drive predecessor, which was powered by a 190kW/380Nm 2.3-litre turbo-petrol four shared with the CX-7.

The magazine's source says Mazda has overcome problems associated with adapting turbocharging to the SKYACTIV-G petrol engine's high 14:1 compression. Bench-testing is said to have measured outputs of up to 235kW, but the report claims the production car will produce 300hp or around 220kW.

That's 30kW more than the previous Mazda3 MPS and more than most of its potential front-drive hot-hatch rivals priced around $40,000, including the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST and Renault Megane RS.

In fact, it would better the outputs of more expensive all-wheel drive sports cars like Subaru's WRX STI, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Volkswage's Golf R and Audi's S3 – but not the Mercedes-Benz A 45 and CLA 45 AMGs.

"They have denied rumours about the turbo officially, but have continued their research," said the Holiday Auto source. "It was said that the turbo and SKYACTIV with a high compression ratio do't work well together, but it has been already solved."

Mazda Australia spokesman Steve Maciver did't deny the speculation, and said any MPS model would be a welcome addition in Australia.

"What we've said is we're concentrating on our core models – we've got a new 3 and 6, and the 2 and CX-9 are next in line for the SKYACTIV treatment.

"But if any MPS was offered to us of course we'd jump at the opportunity."

Power, handling and braking upgrades for Mazda 3MPS, 6MPS, CX7 and more.

MRT Power Kits for 3MPS Gen1 and also for the 3MPS Gen 2.

Picture courtesy Holiday Auto magazine

Words by Marton Pettendy
www.motoring.com.au

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SUBARU'S fourth-generation WRX performance hero and its STI derivative are proving to be more popular than ever, with the brutal boy-racers clocking up a best-ever combined sales result in Australia last month.

In April, Subaru Australia sold 691 WRXs to break the record of 469 that was set back in 1999 with the first-generation model. Out of the 691 total, 141 of those sold were the hardcore STI variant that only arrived in Subaru showrooms mid-way through last month.

This figure also meant that the sporty duo combined outsold all Subaru models including the Impreza on which is based, as well as the XV crossover. Only the Forester, with 728 sales, finished with a greater number of deliveries.

The impressive haul eclipsed a number of popular models in the small car class last month, with the WRX and STI alone – excluding the regular Impreza range on which they are based – outselling the Kia Cerato (384), Nissan Pulsar (590) and Honda Civic (660).

Subaru elected to drop the Impreza name for the new-generation WRX and STI, which means that sales data for the Impreza and WRX are split in the monthly VFCATS new-car sales reports whereas they were previously combined.

Oddly, the WRX range sits alongside the Impreza in the Small under $40,000 VFACTS category rather than in the Sports cars under $80,000 segment where it would be a natural fit.

If the WRX range was listed in the Sports car under $80,000 category, it would have easily beaten its rivals including the Toyota 86 which sold 312 units, the Hyundai Veloster on 228 sales as well as its BRZ coupe stablemate which sold 83 units last month.

Previous trends have shown strong take-up in the first few months of sales for sportscars, before a marked decline several months after launch as initial interest dies off.

The Japanese car-maker's sales were up 13.7 per cent for the month compared to March with 2903 units shifted, although year-to-date sales were down by 0.7 per cent with January to April sales of 12,887 compared to 12,982 the previous year.

After just two months on sale, the WRX has become the Japanese brand's fourth-best seller for the year so far behind the Forester (4311), XV (3529) and the Impreza (2127).

Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said the demand for the WRX has been so strong this year that some variants are now on back order and are likely to be delivered in August.

“This is a fantastic response and the most encouraging aspect is the high level of conquest business,” he said.

“New WRX and WRX STI are attracting new buyers to Subaru with their great mix of performance, comfort, value-for-money, specification and Subaru’s trademark reliability.

“We’re getting especially strong demand for the sports Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission WRX, running higher than anticipated at more than 50 per cent of orders.”

Subaru kicked off sales of the WRX in November last year by offering 100 examples of the vehicle online, before showroom deliveries commenced in late March.

The company trialed online sales for its BRZ coupe in 2012 which proved to be a raging success after the initial allocation of the Toyota 86 twin sold out in just three hours.

BRZ sales have dropped by 20.5 per cent in the first four months of this year compared to last year, with 329 units shifted, while the 86 is down by 34.8 per cent with sales of 1610 from the 2469 it recorded in the same period last year.

Overall sales in the Sports car under $80,000 segment have taken a hit of 20.2 per cent for the year so far, with most models experiencing a decline in sales.

Keep an eye on MRT's rapidly building product range for the MY15 WRX and WRX STi.

Looking to learn a bit more about the MY15 WRX and/or WRX STi, try MRT's YouTube channel for a bunch of tips, tricks and upgrade advice!

By Tim Nicholson
www.goauto.com.au

 

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The latest 'virtual' prototype car for the Gran Turismo 6 video game has broken cover in the shape of the Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Evolution Vision.

Looking like the offspring of a Hyundai Veloster and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, the new model is the fifth digital concept car developed for Gran Turismo 6 on the Playstation 3 videogame console, following in the footsteps of the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision, BMW Vision, Toyota FT-1 and Volkswagen Golf GTI Vision.

Displaying hints of the XR-PHEV concept first seen at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, the  Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision takes the company's design philosophy to the next level, displaying a far more visceral, aggressive design.

The design was heavily influenced by motorsport, as evidenced by the car's dramatically flared wheel-arches shrouding 20-inch aluminium, a huge rear wing, low front splitter, ground-hugging side skirts and a bold rear diffuser that together leave no doubts as to the car's purpose.

Mitsubishi says its wild new concept car was devised by the same groups that work on Japanese company's real-world cars, including its Aerodynamic Engineering Development Group and Advanced Vehicle Research and Development Group, using "the same process they would normally follow to plan and develop real motorsports vehicles", according to the company.

The body is constructed from carbon-fibre reinforced plastic to keep weight down and the car-maker says "the downforce produced by the aerodynamic form of the front and rear diffusers produces excellent cornering performance".

Although it describes the concept as a "stoic racing machine", Mitsubishi has not divulged the vital statistics of the powerplant that sits under the car's long bonnet, merely noting that it's a plug-in hybrid engine hooked up to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that works through an all-wheel drive set-up with S-AWC, or super all-wheel control.

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Last year's XR-PHEV concept, understood to be a preview Mitsubishi's next-generation ASX compact SUV, was propelled by a three-cylinder 1.1-litre turbo-petrol engine (100kW) that worked in tandem with an electric motor (120kW), but this hardcore concept is likely to have a lot more herbs.

Mercedes-Benz's virtual concept car, the AMG Vision, is the first of the Gran Turismo prototypes to be given the green light for production, with five units being built at an estimated price of $1.5 million each.

However, Mitsubishi Evo fans are unlikely to see this creation cruising around the Nurburgring or Phillip Island.

Mitsubishi has previously stated the Lancer Evolution is essentially dead, and will be replaced by a performance crossover or SUV, following delays in the development of the new Lancer.

The most likely next step for the ageing Lancer small car, which remains fundamentally unchanged since 2007, is a model that shares its platform with upcoming small cars from Renault and Nissan, after Mitsubishi's decision not to invest in the development of its own all-new model.

Mitsubishi has previously stated its short- and medium-term plan is to focus on SUVs, crossovers and light commercial vehicles.

Nevertheless, those interested in driving the striking XR-PHEV Evolution Vision concept car can download it via the Gran Turismo 6 video game.

MRT Power Kits for Mitsubishi Evolution models and more!

Looking for turbo, cams, braking or suspension upgrades for your Evo?

Words: Feann Torr
www.motoring.com.au

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AUSTRALIA has well-and-truly punched above its weight in keeping demand for Toyota’s sprightly 86 coupe on a high, with a remarkable one-in-ten of the total worldwide production finding a home here since launch.

The rear-drive performance bargain co-developed with Subaru this week eclipsed 100,000 global sales, 10,000 units of which have found homes on Australian driveways since the local launch in June 2012.

Only in its home market of Japan (39,000 sales) and the United States, where it is sold as a Scion (35,000), has the car proved more popular.

The success in Australia wildly exceeds the expectations canvassed at launch, with runaway demand stoked along by lower-than-expected pricing, which two years after launch remains at $29,990 plus on-road costs.

At the same time, Toyota’s loss from less-than-illustrious demand in some other world markets has been Australia’s gain, with significantly greater supply available to its local arm than first expected.

At the launch of the 86, Toyota expected it would only have 1200 cars available in 2012 and about 1800 units in 2013. One month after launch, some variants already had waiting lists projected to be in excess of 18 months.

But in the end, it sold 2047 units during 2012, and a massive 6706 units in 2013. The last time a Toyota sports car sold more than 6700 in a year was in 1980 with the Celica.

Reflecting the typical softening in demand found on most performance cars, where the enthusiasts get in early, Toyota has experienced a 34.8 per cent reduction in 86 sales so far in 2014, moving 1610 units.

This still makes it Australia’s top-selling sportscar, with Hyundai’s budget Veloster next with 1112 sales. The 86’s Subaru BRZ twin has managed 329 sales, with its maker still hampered by supply thanks to a small global production quota.

Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the 86 had become a “halo car” that had boosted the brand’s image as well as its sales charts.

“The Toyota 86 has become a halo car that demonstrates Toyota's commitment to designing and engineering cars that really get your heart pumping,” he said.

“Importantly, the passion inside Toyota that led to the 86 is also resulting in more emotional styling and greater driving enjoyment in other Toyota vehicles such as the latest generations of RAV4, Corolla and Kluger.”

Mr Cramb also said 80 per cent of Australian 86 sales were to private buyers, a significant proportion of whom were new to Toyota including first-time car buyers.

About two-thirds of all 86 sales have been of the upmarket GTS, belying the base car’s much-publicised sub-$30k price.

 

If you're one of those owners then head here to check out the latest and greatest on offer from MRT, just for your 86.

See what a forced induction or flex fuel kit and tune can add to your 86.

Written by Mike Costello, as can be viewed at www.goauto.com.au

 

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Mazda plans to offer both 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre (and normally-aspirated) versions of the new MX-5, including in Australia.

But it wasn’t always going to be the case.
The car was originally developed around the concept of a new, high-revving, SkyActiv 1.5-litre engine, at least until the Americans got wind of the plan and argued in favour of a bigger-capacity 2.0-litre engine – as offered in the current model – for the fourth-generation model.

As easily the biggest single market for the sports car, America insisted on the 2.0-litre engine, even if it meant a delay in the launch timing.

Eventually, the Japanese caved in and worked on a higher-revving version of the same basic 2.0-litre engine as used in the Mazda3 and CX-5.

Australia is expected to get both engines when the new car goes on sale in 2015.

 

Take a look at the EcuTek tuning options that MRT offer for the late model (NC series) Mazda MX5.

Chasing some better brakes or some upgraded suspension to improve your already well handling MX5?


Story by Peter Robinson, from Wheels Magazine.

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SUBARU has played it safe but smart with the latest-generation Outback wagon.

Surfacing at the New York International Auto Show on the 20th anniversary of the debut of the original – based on a Liberty wagon – the sleeker fifth iteration is scheduled for an early 2015 launch in Australia.

Essentially a rebodied version of its 2009 predecessor, with smoother lines and subtler detailing, the newcomer is only slightly larger in every dimension.

Yet the Japanese crossover offers sizeable interior space improvements due in part to a more cab-forward silhouette that sees the windscreen pushed forward by a few centimetres.

Deeper side windows, thinner pillars, repositioned door mirrors and a higher seating position make for better all-round vision, while the total cargo area is also larger than before.

Controlling weight has been a priority, with the bonnet now made of aluminium, which in turn helps improve steering feel and response while aiding fuel economy.

An active grille-shutter system has been installed for reduced heat loss and less wind resistance.

Economy is also helped by an updated version of the Lineartronic six-speed CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with a more powerful and efficient yet quieter 2.5-litre four-cylinder horizontally opposed four-cylinder petrol engine.

CVT also makes a belated debut in the flagship 3.6-litre six-cylinder models, consigning the old five-speed torque-converter automatic transmission to history.

The all-wheel drive system features a new active torque-vectoring distribution arrangement to further enhance economy and improve traction, backed up by hill-descent and hill-start assistance as well as an X-Mode device for light off-road conditions. Ground clearance remains unchanged at 213mm.

Back on the bitumen, the new Outback’s electric rack-and-pinion steering now sports a quicker ratio, the MacPherson strut front and double-wishbone rear suspension systems have undergone a number of modifications that Subaru says results in a softer riding but more dynamic driving experience, and the brakes are bigger on the base cars (with ventilated discs now fitted all round).

Still on safety, additional airbags have arrived in the form of front seat cushion restraints, the side curtain airbags can be deployed via a new rollover sensor for improved protection and a reversing camera is expected to be standard on all models.

Finally, a redesigned dashboard brings the usual array of bigger screens, improved multimedia connectivity and softer-touch material quality, while some models now offer the convenience and security of rear-vehicle and cross-traffic detection, blind-spot alert and lane-change warning systems.

The Outback’s role will step up significantly in Australia since there will be no Liberty wagon model offered in the foreseeable future.

Instead, Subaru is expected to import the Levorg – a smaller wagon between the Impreza and previous Liberty in size.

 

See how EcuTek can benefit your diesel Subaru Outback.

MRT Power Kits for late model Subaru Outback can be found here.

From Wheels Magazine

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New names could be on the engine covers of the four new team cars next season. There have been very strong suggestions that the un-named new team will have significant Honda backing as well as running its brand new power unit. Currently only McLaren has a deal with the Japanese marque but has admitted that it is not an exclusive deal.

Honda is set to open its new Formula 1 factory in Milton Keynes, England in June but has suggested that it will do more there than just service and support power units for the McLaren team.

Meanwhile the Haas Automation entry could utilise Ford branded Cosworth engines, the English firm has recently opened a new office in Detroit and developed its own power unit for the 2014 season, but refused to put it into production without a OEM partner.

Looking for Cosworth aftermarket performance parts for your late model car?

Check out the full parts list on the MRT online catalogue!

As can be viewed at www.racecar-engineering.com

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Toyota has blurred the line between the real world and the virtual one, fitting its low-slung 86 sports coupe with a data logger that replays a thrash around a race track inside a game.

However, Australian buyers will have to wait until local race circuit data – possibly including the iconic Mount Panorama track near Bathurst – is added to the software before it will make its way here.

The Japanese car maker announced overnight that domestic versions of the 86 would come fitted with the Sport Drive Logger, which uses the coupe’s GPS and telemetry systems to paint a virtual picture of the driver’s lap around a race track.

The data can be downloaded onto a USB stick and integrated with a PlayStation3 gaming console, where the hot lap can be recreated on a digital version of the track in the driving simulation game Gran Turismo 6.

Toyota launched a virtual version of the 86 on GT6 even before the car arrived in global showrooms.

“We believe the Toyota 86 is the perfect match for this exciting technology,” Toyota Australia product public relations manager Steve Coughlan said.

“Having the opportunity to experience this driver-focused car in both the real and virtual worlds is an exciting proposition.

“That said, the system is currently only configured for Japan and only works in conjunction with circuits such as Fuji Speedway.

“Tracks outside of Japan have not been mapped at this stage,” he said. “For this reason, the technology is not currently applicable to Australia.”

The latest instalment of the long-running Gran Turismo game includes Mount Panorama for the first time, so if the 86 telemetry logger does come to Australia, owners could one day record their own hot lap of the circuit and replay it virtually – provided they can get access to the iconic track when it’s not a low-speed tourist drive.

The lack of the software’s availability in Australia is one of a string of disappointments for local 86 owners.

Despite availability in other markets, the car maker does not sell any TRD performance enhancement kits in Australia as they have not been homologated for use on our roads.

Likewise, Australia misses out on a stripped-out, cut-price version of the two-door coupe known as the 86 RC, which features matte black plastic body panels that can be easily and cheaply replaced.

We also miss out on the TR 86, a race-ready version of the car featuring uprated brakes, adjustable suspension and sets of slick and wet tyres.

The TR 86 sells in other markets for about double the price of a regular 86, which would make it about $60,000 if it came here.

 

MRT Power Kits for the Toyota 86 (including our factory warranty gaurantee)!

Choose from dozens of great brands for suspension, braking and performance upgrades for your 86 (and BRZ) now.

From Wheels Magazine

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Tyre maker Kumho has signed on as the main sponsor of the new Australian Schools Karting Championship (ASKC), which lets school-aged students compete and learn about motorsport.

The affordable new championship costs $145 per team of three students, which covers kart hire, race fees, helmets and race suits.

The series takes place in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane and could become a breeding ground for up-and-coming Daniel Ricciardos.

Thus far, more than 60 students from 17 schools across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory have signed up, as schools vie for the honor of ASKC honors.

It also provides an alternative sporting outlet for school kids, and Kumho national marketing and training manager, David Basha, said the new comp would encourage motorsport participation.
 
"Kumho is pleased to partner Australian Schools Karting Championship as it brings the thrills, craft and discipline of motor racing to a new young audience," he said.
 
"We are strong supporters of entry level motor sport and there is no purer form than go karting.
 
"The Kumho ASKC will be the ideal first step for students to discover the challenges and rewards of motor sport and learn about speed and car control at an early age,” added Basha.
 
Kumho also supports Formula 3 racing and the Kumho Australian Junior Rally Challenge was created to foster new talent in rally racing.

Gerald Chait from KartSchool Australia, the company behind the AKSC, said Kumho’s support for the championship will help keep costs low for students.

"I wanted to make the Kumho ASKC as cost effective as possible and Kumho's sponsorship has allowed us to make it easier for competitors to get involved at a cost effective price,” said Chait.
 
"The Kumho ASKC has received incredible support from schools and it is shaping up to be a very exciting and tightly contested competition," he added.

Reproduced from www.carsales.com.au

 

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SUBARU Australia is confident it can more than double annual sales of its STI flagship sedan despite the loss of the hatch body-style and the absence of an automatic transmission option.

The combination of a massive $10,000 price cut at base level, and the introduction of a new optional online ordering system along with an expanded network of specialist STI dealers from 12 sites to 20 will generate far more interest in the car, Subaru says.

The Japanese car-maker’s local arm is hoping the new and remnant infrastructure will boost sales of the fourth-generation model from 130 to around 300 annually.

Subaru’s new STI will be the second model offered online by the company, with its supply-restricted BRZ coupe offered exclusivity via the digital channel at launch in 2012. The pioneering move secured Subaru about 1800 sales over 18-months before freer supply allowed Subaru to axe the method for the car and offer it in conventional showrooms.

In addition to the web orders and the expanded sales network, Subaru has a series of 17 rural test centres where potential customers can drive the new WRX STI without having to travel long distances to main city dealerships.

If the test day results in an order being placed, Subaru will even deliver the vehicle to the customer freight-free, removing the need for the customer to travel back again.

Speaking at the Australian launch of the WRX STI this week, Subaru Australia Nick Senior told GoAuto that the new measures and existing online infrastructure will encourage even the most far-flung STI enthusiasts to sign on the line.

“The first point of contact is the STI network of which we have 20 dealers so we have almost doubled the network, Then we’ve got the 17 test drive and delivery centers mainly in regional areas,” he said.

“Enthusiasts can live anywhere in Australia and there is an over representation outside the capital cities because they have the great roads... (and are) probably a bit more mechanically minded than their city counterparts.

“The STI model is more about reaching those people where we don’t have showrooms.

“We have always done well with WRX in country areas, we've always seen motorsport over represented in country areas, hence that’s where we want to give them the ability to buy these cars.”

While Subaru believes a majority of its STI customers will be owners returning to the brand, Mr Senior is hopeful the new $10,000 price hack will encourage conquest sales from Australia’s home brands.

“I think particularly HSV has been successful and have developed a loyal and passionate following and I’m sure they want to keep those people and I am sure they are working on product to keep those people.

“I’m just saying we are going to put our hand up, have a chat to us and see whether we can meet your desires.

“This is a specialist car, it is an enthusiasts car and it is a committed purchase for these people.”

Despite the dealership expansions and more purchasing options, sales may still be corralled by supply restrictions, with numbers coming to Australia limited at this stage and strong competition from a diverse sports sedan market.

“Availability is going to be an issue moving forward. This is not a huge market in terms of $50,000 performance cars and there is probably more competition in this segment that we have seen in a long time.”

 

To keep up to date with all the upgrades MRT will be offering for the MY15 STi, keep an eye out on our ever expanding online parts catalogue.

Article by Daniel Gardner, as found at www.goauto.com.au

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Hyundai's recent foray into the World Rally Championship appears to be only the beginning of the car maker's motorsport activities, having confirmed Pikes Peak champion Rhys Millen will return to the new Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) in a beastly Veloster.

The pumped up Hyundai Veloster is powered by a highly-tuned turbo-petrol 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that pumps out more than 450kW and 800Nm. Fairly modest really... Ahem.

The hard-charging RallyCross car is also fitted with an XTRAC centre differential for four-wheel drive traction, a necessity on the tight, muddy race tracks of the race series.

Aggressive bodywork is design to improve downforce on the car, while beefed up suspension was necessary to ensure the car can withstand getting airborne, a common occurrence in RallyCross.

Rhys Millen Racing (RMR) has developed and prepared the cars and the drivers include two New Zealanders, Millen himself and Emma Gilmour.

Millen, son of Rod Millen, was the 2008 Formula Drift World Champion and has set seven Pikes Peak records, as well as finishing third in the 2012 GRC.

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"The RMR Veloster is perfect for GRC by giving enthusiasts a glimpse of affordable, fun-to-drive production cars exploited to their full race potential in an action-packed rallycross series.

"Even more, I’m especially proud to have Emma as a teammate; with many top rally drivers hailing from New Zealand, her consistent top performance is sure to impress at every stage of the series," he said.

Emma came second overall in the New Zealand Rally Championship and says she's stoked to be the first female driver in the GRC

"It’s a true privilege to be the first female driver in the GRC series, and I’m confident my performance will open up more opportunities for a number of great female rally drivers in the future," she said.

Spread across 10 events mainly in the USA, the GRC kicks off in Barbados on May 17 and will be integrated into the BBC's Top Gear Festival.

Unlike the World Rally Championship, GRC sees drivers fanging around short tracks, usually with large jumps within an arena to provide optimal views for spectators.

For all your motorsport needs and Hyundai suspension and braking upgrades - check out MRT's ever increasing parts database range.

From www.carsales.com.au

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SUBARU Australia managing director Nick Senior is expecting another company sales record in 2014 – a target that will depend largely on the new-generation Impreza-based WRX and STi performance twins launching in March and April respectively.

More significantly, though, is the expectation that this projected growth will come against the backdrop of what is shaping up as an unexpected market-wide sales decline for the calendar year, according to Mr Senior.

Modest growth this year will set the stage for what promises to be a stronger 2015, with new-generation versions of the Liberty and Outback due weeks apart at the start of the year and – in all likelihood – the Levorg hot wagon, a pseudo replacement for the defunct WRX hatch, due mid-year.

The company is targeting a figure about 500 units above last year’s record 40,200 deliveries, which was a slim 11 units over of its then-record 2012. That would mean three record years on the trot for Subaru’s local distributor, Inchcape.

While the company still aims for modest growth, it has experienced a slower start to 2014 than it did last year, with sales down 0.6 per cent for the first two months. Keep in mind, though, that the total market decrease over 2013’s all-time record is 3.7 per cent.

Forester, Liberty and Outback volume fell 14.2 per cent, 65.1 per cent and 31 per cent respectively, although strong Impreza growth of 69.8 per cent on the back of factory drive-away deals made up the bulk of the difference, alongside the run-out Tribeca (up 97.4 per cent).

The company is also understood to be tracking behind on its March sales numbers with four days remaining. The third month of the year – also the final month on the Japanese financial year – is traditionally the market’s second largest after June.

In addition, the company will lose about 100 monthly sales once stocks of its now-discontinued Tribeca large SUV are exhausted. Deliveries from its US plant in Indiana have now ceased as the car has been axed due to dwindling sales in North America.

However, the launch of the new WRX this month and the even hotter STi in April will give these figures a bump. The company plans to sell on average about 200 WRXs each month, with the new CVT automatic option opening to door to new types of buyers – or so the company hopes.

The circa-2000 WRX sales in 2014 will be complemented by improved sales on the sporty Forester XT and BRZ coupe, the latter due to greater supply. In all, about 5000 of Subaru’s sales this year – 12.5 per cent – are expected to come from its ‘sporting’ models.

Speaking with GoAuto at this week’s WRX launch in Tasmania, Mr Senior said Subaru’s projected sales performance in 2014 would buck a trend of overall market decline, the latter of which comes largely due weaker fleet, government and rental sales, which remain stubbornly down.

“Having a look a the first two months and the likelihood of March, I think unless we see a big increase in the fleet (sales) coming back in quarter three, 12-months after the FBT decision, I’m thinking that the market may struggle to get to last year’s level,” he said.

For all the latest tips, tricks and upgrade for your Subaru, follow MRT on Twitter.

Browse through hundreds of thousands of parts for all makes and models of Subaru.

By Mike Costello
www.goauto.com.au

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There’s a rumour going around Japan right now that Subaru’s VIZIV 2 concept car revealed at this year’s Geneva motor show previews the next-generation Forester, but our sources tell us otherwise.

Given the fact the latest Forester has been on sale a little more than a year in Australia, where the smaller XV is just over two years old, we can safely say the VIZIV 2 does not point to a replacement for either SUV.

Nor does it preview the new Outback, which is expected to appear at the New York show next month, and is expected to be the only wagon version of the next Liberty sedan. The new Liberty and Outback are due on sale here almost simultaneously early next year.

No, the VIZIV 2 points in another direction, or should we say directions. Compelling evidence about the concept’s secrets came from a source close to Subaru who tells us this sharp looking crossover gives significant hints to what a new, smaller SUV will look like, while at the same time suggesting the shape that a much larger Subaru SUV will take.

This is Subaru’s new design language for SUVs and we can expect to see a lot more of it in future models. While our source remained tight-lipped about the new smaller model, he did expand on the larger one.

So how big will it be? “Try reinterpreted Tribeca territory.”

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Just as the underperforming Tribeca is being phased out in all markets, news of a totally new reinterpretation makes perfect sense. Only this time, Subaru has to get the package right. It has to look good, deliver enough power and offer class-leading fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

And if the Tribeca replacement – it will most probably inherit a new name to differentiate it from the outgoing sales disaster – borrows lines from the VIZIV 2, then it is definitely heading in the right direction. This concept is without doubt the sharpest, best-looking crossover design we have ever seen from Subaru.

Despite the fact it incorporates just four seats, we’re told the VIZIV 2 show car accurately previews the design direction of a bigger new SUV, even if it at an overall length of 4435mm it’s about 400mm shorter than the Tribeca, 130mm shorter than the Forester and 15mm shorter than even the XV.

Even more critical to the new crossover’s success than its styling will be its powerplant. That’s why the current Tribeca’s thirsty 3.6-litre six-cylinder boxer engine is being considerably downsized.  

But don’t think that the new SUV will want for power. “The radical new engine will offer plenty of poke,” says our source.

In realising that engine, Subaru will lean heavily on its relationship with Toyota (which blossomed with the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ collaborative effort).

This new crossover will bring together two of the industry’s most advanced engine technologies: the world’s only boxer diesel engine and Toyota’s tried and proven THS-II hybrid system.

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Although the concept was powered by a downsized 1.6-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder Direct Injection Turbocharged (DIT) boxer engine, we understand the production model will be powered by the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel boxer fitted to the Outback and Forester, in which it generates about 110kW and a beefy 350Nm of torque from just 1800rpm.

But to produce the ideal combination of sufficient torque and class-leading mileage and emissions for the larger crossover, Subaru engineers will take Toyota’s hybrid system and employ in-house knowhow honed on the XV Crosstrek hybrid project to create a plug-in hybrid.

That’s right, the new Subaru SUV will be the world’s first turbo-diesel boxer plug-in hybrid. And to clean up emissions even further, the crossover will incorporate a diesel particulate filter to minimise CO2 and other emissions.

Also previewed by the VIZIV 2, the ground-breaking powertrain incorporates one front electric motor and two rear motors, all charged by a lithium-ion battery.

As Subaru promised when it revealed the VIZIV 2, the independent rear motor-driven symmetrical AWD system “points the way to a future generation of Subaru technology” and will offer “superb driveability, based on the low centre of gravity and superior weight distribution”.

At last, a stylish Subaru crossover by late 2017 that will offer world-leading technology and a totally new driving experience -- or at least that’s what our insider hints at. If the promise meets reality then we have something to look forward to.

Subaru entered unchartered waters in 1999 when its engineers commenced work on the first boxer diesel. Now 15 years later, they are once again going where no engineer has gone before.

Looking for parts for your Subaru Tribeca?

By Peter Lyon
www.carsales.com.au

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A NEW generation of one of Australia’s best-selling cars has earned a top five-star crash rating from the nation’s vehicle safety watchdog.

The result applies to the Thai-built Toyota Corolla sedan that was introduced in January, following a similar five-star result that the Japanese-made hatchback achieved in October 2012.

However, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) used the opportunity to take a swipe at car-makers for holding back on new safety technology it believes should be made available.

"Consumers are now spoiled for choice with the number of 5 star models on the market and ANCAP continues to push the boundaries by making it more difficult each year to achieve the top rating," ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said while announcing the result. "In recent years we've seen manufacturers achieve vastly improved results with the majority of major brands now building to five-star standards.

“What we want to see now is manufacturers which strive beyond the requirements – offering even higher levels of structural and active safety to consumers."

Peugeot’s 5008 people-mover and Subaru’s latest firebrand sedan, the WRX, also scored the top rating, with Subaru in particular singled out for praise over its advances made to the next-generation ‘Rex in terms of the protection it offered to the road’s most vulnerable users, pedestrians.

“Subaru has again ensured its policy to build nothing less than five-star cars is retained with the new Subaru WRX,” ANCAP said in a statement announcing the results.

“The WRX joins a small group of current models that have achieved the top pedestrian protection result of 'Good' – a step above the current minimum five-star standard of 'Acceptable'.”

"This is the direction in which we want to see manufacturers heading," Mr McIntosh said.

ANCAP said none of the cars tested, though, featured smart braking systems that could minimise or completely avoid a low-speed crash with the vehicle in front, cyclists or pedestrians.

“Unfortunately none of the models in today's release are equipped with autonomous emergency braking – an important safety feature that is now common on popular vehicles in Europe and the USA,” it said.

ANCAP is currently planning on a standard test for assessing how well autonomous braking systems work, similar to one already set in place by Euro NCAP.

The Euro NCAP assessment program has only sampled nine different systems launched on the market internationally, with the one developed for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class earning the best rating so far, and the Honda Civic’s the worst after it was assessed as only reducing the severity of a collision rather than avoiding it.

To see more about the MY15 WRX and its safety and performance features, head over to MRT's YouTube channel for more comprehensive updates.

By Barry Park
www.goauto.com.au

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MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) believes it can maintain and even grow sales of the ageing Lancer small-car range against newer rivals, providing it can keep sharpening the value equation and improve its dire supply situation from Japan.

The statement of intent to restore Lancer sales to a higher position in Australia’s dominant small-car segment comes as MMAL management continues to wait for the next-generation model to emerge, with a production version not expected until 2016 or later.

The current Lancer was introduced in 2007.

As GoAuto has reported, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has prioritised SUVs, light commercials and hybrid drivetrains with its current future model program, and will outsource the its next-generation C- (small) and D-segment (mid-size) passenger cars – that is, the successors for Lancer and Galant – to Renault-Nissan.

Despite the growth in SUVs and commercial vehicles in key markets, the small-car segment in which the Lancer fights remains crucial in Australia and Europe, and is increasingly important in the US.

“We would all love to have a new Lancer, but at the moment it’s a bit unknown where we’re at with it,” said MMAL sales director Greg Cook.

MMAL marketing executive director Tony Principe added: “We really don’t know ... This car is not just for us, it’s for the US and Europe too. The Lancer is still one of their biggest sellers globally so they need to do a pretty good job and we assume they will.”

The current Lancer has been in a sales trough in Australia for some time, falling 25.5 per cent last year to 11,408 units to be a weak spot for Mitsubishi as the triple-diamond brand grew its overall sales volume by 21.5 per cent to 71,528 new registrations.

This was a new high-water mark for MMAL since becoming a full-line importer in 2008 with the demise of the locally built 380 mid-size sedan.

Lancer sales are down a further 12 per cent in 2014, averaging 680 units a month over January-February.

However, the Australian subsidiary believes it can return the car to an average of about 1000 units a month, or even more, based on the value-adding strategy it is taking – and if it can secure more supply.

The company recently pruned back its under-performing hatch range to a single high-spec $22,990 GSR variant with VRX-style body adornments and a bigger 2.4-litre engine. An MY14.5 version of the range rolls out in a few weeks, with sportier styling cues and extra equipment.

The issue with supply dates back last year, when the Japanese plant that produces Lancer was also tasked with producing the booming co-developed Mitsubishi eK and Nissan Dayz ‘kei’ micro-cars for the domestic market.

“(It’s) really tightened up ... we’ve been pushed out,” said Mr Principe.

“There are still more changes for Lancer coming from MMC, there is still volume upside, and we think we can get back to 1000 per month and maybe even more per month.

“If we can get standard, normal ongoing supply and do all those changes, we think we can grow it a bit more.”

Mr Principe said any proposal to further refine the Lancer range, such as adding a GSR to its sedan range, depended on the factory.

Growing Lancer sales is also central to MMAL’s plan to capture 73,000 sales this year – more than last year’s record, despite a bad start to the year that sees it down 15.6 per cent after two months of trading – and eventually creep up towards the 100,000 target it plans to reach by 2017.

“We need to be stronger in those areas (passenger cars, particularly the C-segment), so what they do there will have a determining influence on how quickly we can grow,” said Mr Principe.

“We’re happy with ASX, Pajero, Triton, Challenger successor cars (all due between 2014 and 2016) but the reality of our market in Australia is passenger is still pretty substantial ... (and) we obviously need Lancer to grow, too.

“Right now we’ve got actual supply constraints that isn’t helping our current volume base, let alone any future volume base, but until we get access to more of the current Lancer – and we’ve done lots of tweaking with that car, and there’s more we can do – but there’s no point doing that without volume.

“If we get more volume we can be more aggressive ... we need to grow that volume base more, but we need more supply out of MMC too.”

In the meantime, Mr Cook said the company was urging dealers to redirect prospective Lancer buyers caught out by reduced stock into the ASX city SUV, a move he credits with that model’s 40.5 per cent growth in January-February.

The same tactic will be used with the forthcoming Mirage sedan, due in the second quarter.

Mr Principe added that the company did not want to see its dealer network slashing Lancer prices in order to meet sales quotas, as has been seen in recent months.

“It’s hard to work out why they’re doing it because the reality is pretty soon they’re not going to have any (stock),” Mr Principe said.

“We keep saying to them, ‘You do't need to do this.’ But I guess there are some dealers used to relying on the Lancer deals.

“What we’ve said to them is, ‘You’ve got to understand the market is changing. Try selling more ASXs and Tritons, try selling more Outlanders.’ But a lot of them are very Lancer-orientated, and say they’ve got to sell more.

“But it’s not coming from us.”

MRT Power Kits for all late model Mitsubishi Evolutions and Lancer Ralliart.

By Mike Costello
www.goauto.com.au

 

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ADVANCES made in Formula One race car construction since Ayrton Senna died 20 years ago have not only transformed track safety but could also have a similar effect on passenger cars, according to a leading motor sport official.

Indeed, Australian driver Mark Webber would almost certainly have died in his enormous 2010 crash during the Spanish Grand Prix had safety standards not been greatly increased by the Federation Internationale d’Automobile (FIA) in the period after the death of Senna and Roland Ratzenberger on the same weekend in 1994.

The prevention of further deaths in what is considered the world’s most dangerous sport is a cause of some pride, Garry Connelly told the Cars of Tomorrow conference in Melbourne.

“It’s been a deliberate strategy, a Formula Zero strategy, which I believe has relevance to all disciplines of motor sport and to road-going activities,” he said.

The safety improvements are the result of work by the FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety and Sustainability, where Mr Connelly is deputy president.

He is also an FIA steward at the World Rally, World Touring Car and Formula One championships.

Mr Connelly said extensive testing by the institute had discovered that coating an F1 car’s carbon fibre tub with a 6mm thick layer of zylon changed a fatal side impact accident from a fatal crash to one where a driver could walk away.

“That’s quite remarkable,” he said. “Add a €40 ($61) piece of fabric and suddenly you have gone from a fatal accident to a walk-away situation.”

Mr Connelly said the institute also revised the standard for the driver’s seat that, under 1999 rules, had to be able to withstand a side impact of 24G (24 times the force of gravity).

He said crashes were registering higher loads than that, so the institute decided to ramp up the minimum standard to 70G.

The first test completely ruined a €20,000 crash test dummy and would have been unsurvivable.

“Does this have roadgoing application?,” he said. “I would think it does.”

Similarly, the institute wanted to minimise the dangers of a side impact for rally cars, where there is only a 200mm distance between the point of impact and the driver or navigator. The maximum survivable impact speed was considered to be 32km/h.

Mr Connelly said making the car rigid would only transmit all the forces to the passengers, so the institute looked for an energy-absorbing solution. Data recorders show most impacts were about 60km/h.

“Our guys came up with a wafer system, a laminate system of metal and foam and, in this case, at 60km/h, they discovered it was survivable, and possibly a walk-away,” he said.

While the laminate structure was impractical for production cars, the institute worked with some foam manufacturers to come up with some specifications of foam which, when placed inside the door skin, would absorb that kind of impact.

Mr Connelly said composite materials also had enormous potential.

“I believe we will start to see more and more carbon-fibre used in unusual places in the automotive industry coming out of what we have done in motor sport,” he said.

“There is no reason why you can’t legislate, if you have the will, to make cars a lot safer than they are.”

Mr Connelly also said the radical new engines to be seen for the first time at the Australian Grand Prix will also promise great benefits for production cars.

The new drive trains incorporate a 1.6-litre turbo-charged engine fitted with two energy recovery systems: a kinetic energy recovery system already seen on earlier F1 cars and a heat recovery system which converts exhaust heat into electricity.

The kinetic recovery system generates electricity from the rear wheels when the driver is braking and the heat recovery system generates electricity from the exhaust flow through the turbo-charger when the car is accelerating.

“Is this technology transferable? Absolutely. It has been that way for decades and will continue to be.”

While he system is complex, the manufacturers claim they have already beaten the FIA’s horsepower target, which was to match the 2013 output of around 700hp (521kW).

Mr Connelly pointed out that these new engine regulations would be backed up by a dramatic reduction in fuel allowance, which will be reduced from 140kg a race to 100kg.

“They are using less fuel and making more power,” he said “It’s a great outcome.”

Mr Connelly said the two energy recovery systems together produced around 161hp (120kW) for 33 seconds a lap, which was about how long cars were under full acceleration.

“That’s 161hp recovered from stuff that would have been wasted previously,” he said.

But there will be a downside, at least in the early races.

“The teams have had each car’s engine allocation from eight to five this year, so they have got to make them reliable,” Mr Connelly said.

“But I wouldn’t go placing a lot of money on your favorite driver this weekend until we see the reliability of the cars during practice.

“I think we will have a few little hiccups in the first few races. Hopefully not.”

For all your performance, suspension and braking needs, head to the constantly evolving MRT online catalogue.

By Ian Porter
www.goauto.com.au

 

Don’t give up hope for a hatchback version of Subaru’s new WRX just yet.

That’s the message from WRX Project General Manager, Masuo Takatsu, who told motoring.com.au at this week’s Australian launch of the fourth-generation model that a five-door body style was still under consideration.

“We have received strong interest from the US, where the hatchback was 50 per cent (of previous-generation WRX sales), so we're now considering,” he said.

On sale this week priced from lower than ever before at $38,990 plus on-road costs, the latest WRX – unlike most of its direct competitors – is a sedan-only model, like the higher-performance STI version that follows it on sale next month.

Subaru Australia says it’s not perturbed by that, given hatch versions have accounted for only up to 15 per cent of previous WRX sales.

“From an Australian point of view our best ever hatch result was 15 per cent and most of the years have been below 10 per cent, so while I appreciate the so-called hot hatch does reasonably good numbers, WRX has from day one always been predominantly a sedan,” said managing director Nick Senior.

“I can remember back to the initial order of WRX in December 1993. Hatches were 80 per cent of the market and sedans were 20 per cent, so we ordered those similar percentages and we spent the best part of a year initially adjusting that mix.”

The WRX is the exception to the rule in Australia, however, where the $40,000 performance-car market is dominated by hot hatches such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST and Renault Megane RS.

Five-door hatches also account for the vast majority of most mainstream small cars like the Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, Holden Cruze and Subaru’s own Impreza, upon which the WRX is based.

Conversely, half of all previous WRXs sold in the US were hatchbacks, despite the fact it is predominantly a sedan market overall.

Given North America is the world’s biggest WRX market (followed by Japan and Australia, which is probably the largest per-capita), it’s understandable Subaru has not ruled out adding a hatch derivative.

“The main target for WRX is the US,” said Takatsu-san. “Japan is number two, Australia number three. Basically, we target these three markets.

Fresh from the US launch last month, the WRX boss – who travels to Sweden next for the Scandinavian launch – said limited engineering resources were behind both the lack of new WRX hatch and an automatic version of the upcoming STI.

Fitted with a downsized yet more powerful 2.0-litre turbo engine, the new WRX is the first in more than decade to be offered with an automatic (in this case CVT) transmission. Meantime, the new STI, which runs a carryover (but also slightly more powerful) 2.5-litre turbo four, is no longer available with just two pedals.

Subaru Australia believes the availability of an auto in the larger, more refined, better equipped and better value MY15 WRX will make it more popular than ever, with 200 sales a month expected – up from the previous model's 150/month.

Priced $2000 higher than the manual, CVT models are expected to initially account for 20 per cent of sales, before rising to 50 per cent.

Meantime, a larger proportion than before (just 15 per cent) are expected to be female buyers and the Premium variant (priced from $43,990) is expected to comprise half of all sales.

Senior said CVT and Premium models would put the more ‘grown-up’ WRX in a better position to tempt buyers of sports cars positioned both below the WRX (such as the Toyota 86, Hyundai Veloster and Kia Cerato Koup) and above (like sports versions of the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A- and CLA-Class) .
“There are more players in the sports segment than ever,” he said. “The level of competition in that segment is the highest there ever has been [including] luxury brands coming down as well as volume brands pushing up into that space.

“That means that for us there is more opportunity from brands that have been trying to occupy our space as well as from buyers in the sporty car segment below $30,000 wanting to trade up.

“It’s not just one manufacturer. It is broad-based appeal to a larger segment. We want more conquests.”

Subaru has sold almost 38,000 WRXs since 1994 and expects the new model to help it to a new overall Australian sales record of about 41,000 in 2015, aided by the arrival of new Liberty and Outback models early in the year.

MRT already has parts available for the MY15 WRX - view them now!

Keep up to date with our MY15 WRX testing and performance upgrades by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

Story by Marton Pettendy
www.carsales.com.au

 

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According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which launched the Federal Court action today, Coles and Woolworths both appeared to have breached court-enforced undertakings relating to fuel discounts on shopping dockets.

“The ACCC takes alleged breaches of undertakings extremely seriously. Such undertakings are generally accepted by the ACCC as an alternative to the ACCC taking court enforcement action,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement released this afternoon.

The case relates to a court case late last year in which both Coles and Woolworths said they would voluntarily limit fuel discounts to 4 cents a litre from January this year.

However, the ACCC has alleged Woolworths’ current discount of 8 cents a litre extended to customers who buy certain items is a breach of that undertaking.

Coles, meanwhile, has fallen back under the competition watchdog’s radar after it also bumped its fuel discount up to 14 cents a litre if customers bought certain products.

“Following an extensive investigation, the ACCC had been concerned that fuel savings offers could have longer-term effects on the structure of the retail fuel markets and also short term effects of increasing general pump prices in those markets,” Mr Sims said.

“We accepted the undertakings because they addressed the ACCC’s principal competition concerns and allowed the matter to be resolved quickly and efficiently.

“It is pleasing that Coles and Woolworths advise that they are honouring their undertakings to fund all fuel discounts from their fuel operations, but we are concerned that the bundled discount offerings in excess of 4 cents per litre are contrary to the terms of the undertakings,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC said it was seeking declarations, costs and other orders from both the supermarket companies.

Coles and Woolworths have not responded publicly to the new court action.

The ACCC launched an investigation into shopping docket discount vouchers after receiving complaints from competing fuel retailers that they could not match the high 8 cents a litre discounts of the two supermarkets, which were funding the discounts through parts of their business unrelated to fuel.

Several retailers complained that this created an uneven playing field and gave Coles and Woolworths an unfair competitive advantage.

By Barry Park, found at www.goauto.com.au

 

MRT stock all blends of Elf racing fuel - including race spec E85. Click here to see the full range and drum sizes available for pick up or delivery.

 

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Anticipation for the new Type R has been building steadily since we drove the engineering prototype late last year at Honda's their research and development centre in Tochigi, Japan.

Honda sources claim the new Civic Type R will beat Renault's front-wheel-drive production car lap record at Nurburgring (8:07.97), a record set by the Megane RS Trophy in 2011.

Honda's chief engineer, Ayuma Matsuo, confirmed the new Type R will feature a 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct-injected petrol engine, assisted by a turbocharger for the first time in the model's history.

Officially the new engine will produce 206kW/400Nm, however speaking exclusively to Wheels, Ayuma Matsuo revealed plans are underway to extract more. "It's very capable," he said. "220kW or more we are hoping." That figure will stack-up well against the Ford Focus ST (184kW/340Nm), Renault Megane Sport 265 Cup (195kW/360Nm) and Volkswage's Mk7 Golf GTI (162kW/350Nm).

Stylistically, the Civic Type R design concept looks significantly bolstered in comparison to previous models. Huge arch flares and vents tie in with the new rear wing section. The spoiler and tail-lights are a now one integrated piece with the uprights shown in carbon-fibre. The rear door handles are discreetly hidden by the C-pillars, giving the illusion of a two-door body. But how much of this artist's rendering will carry into the production model remains to be seen.

Honda has't offered the Civic Type R in Australia since 2011, when it cost $39,990 plus on-roads. Expect the 2015 Civic Type R to be priced competitively with the likes of the Megane Sport 265 Cup ($42,640). Exact pricing and availability for the 2015 model should follow after the Geneva Motor Show fires up in three weeks.

MRT still successfully compains an older model Honda Civic, along with our trusty Subaru Forester turbo diesel in many rally and hillclimb events. Follow the team.

Handling parts, braking components and service items for your Honda.

As found in Wheels Magazine

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The new record surpasses the 431km/h achieved by the extreme Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

The two rivals are a study in contrasts: while the Veyron was developed at huge cost as a show-piece for parent company Volkswagen, the Venom was created by a small team in Texas.

Hennessey’s record pace only just pips the Veyron, but driver – and professional racer – Brian Smith said the 928kW, 7.0-litre V8 turbo-powered Venom “was still pulling” as it neared the end of the space-shuttle landing strip.

Independent time-keeping equipment manufacturer Racelogic was on-hand to record the top-speed attempt, and its GPS system indicated that the record-breaking car was still accelerating when the five kilometre runway ran out.

“If we could run on an eight-mile oval we could go faster than that,” said Mr Smith.

British car-maker Lotus provides the basis for the record-breaking car, which will reach 300km/h in just over 13 seconds – the same time it takes a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG to get to 200km/h.

To date only 15 of the flagship vehicles have been completed and only 29 will be produced - each one taking six months and costing anywhere between $660,000 and $1.2m

The duel between Hennessey and Bugatti has been raging for some time.

When the American maker first threatened the ‘standard’ 750kW Veyron, the VW Group clearly took notice: it was only a matter of months before the new 882kW Super Sport variant rolled out to retain its title.

The new record-holder will need to look over its proverbial shoulder at Swedish boutique car-maker Koenigsegg, which is poised to reveal the 1000kW One:1 (a name that refers to its 1:1 horsepower to kg rating) as early as the Geneva motor show in March.

If you need parts to get your daily driver or racecar moving a little quicker, try the MRT online catalgoue. Thousands of quality parts for all makes and models!

By DANIEL GARDNER
www.goauto.com.au

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BMW is only a year or two away from making the word ‘alloys’ obsolete in the car industry.

The German premium car-maker is planning a rollout of the collateral technologies it picked up when it reinvented carbon-fibre manufacture with the i3 and i8 eco-cars and the centerpiece is a set of ultra-light, fully carbon-fibre allo…, err, rims.

It is the brainchild of the marque’s weight-reduction guru, Franz Storkenmaier. After developing a new system of industrialising carbon-fibre for BMW’s i sub-brand, he has now been tasked with finding other uses for its patents.

Among the things his team has found are a full carbon-fibre steering wheel, a one-piece carbon-fibre propeller shaft for the X5 and a new carbon-plastic compound that is light and strong and made from i3 production waste and rims.

In fact, it isn’t just that BMW has developed new carbon-fibre rims, but it has also developed a carbon-fibre/alloy hybrid wheel, too, with alloy spokes and a carbon-fibre rim. And now it just has to convince European regulators that they’re strong enough to be safe on the streets.

“We save 25 percent in weight compared to a forged alloy wheel with the hybrid wheel and another 10 per cent if it’s completely carbon,” Mr Storkenmaier said.

“It’s the most important kind of weight because it’s unsprung mass and there are also rotating mass advantages.”

Given carbon-fibre has a reputation for being light, incredibly strong but not enthusiastic about bending, we asked if there concerns about wheels shattering or becoming damaged to the point where the cars were dangerous to drive.

“The carbon-fibre wheels are very damage resistant. They’re actually more damage resistant to kerb hits than standard alloy wheels because the damage polishes out really easily.

“You can scratch it when you park and it’s better to polish out than aluminium. You can have the metal finish to it with the alloy hybrid, but it’s technically a better solution to go all the way and have a full carbon-fibre wheel.”

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It’s a similar story with the carbon-fibre steering wheel. While cosmetic carbon-fibre on steering wheels has been a production-car reality since the early 2000s, they all have metallic skeletons. Not any more.

Though it’s still a little way off production (and, again, needs European Union approval), the new BMW steering wheel uses a carbon skeleton and a carbon frame. When asked if carbon was perhaps too stiff for safety, Mr Storkenmaier countered that the job of arresting the driver in a collision was done by the airbag.

“The protection for the carbon steering wheel is the airbag. If you physically hit the steering wheel, it will not deform and you’ve already lost. That’s the same with metallic steering wheels.”

But while those technologies were the coolest new carbon-fibre parts in the BMW works, they’re not the ones BMW is most excited about.

Instead, it has developed a carbon-plastic hybrid material called Secondary CFRP that is being positioned as a competitor for magnesium, aluminium and steel in light, semi-structural parts like seat frames and spare wheels for everything from MINI to Rolls-Royce.

“We have tried to use the leftover raw carbon-fibre from i3 and i8 production to make carbon-fibre parts, mixed with plastic. We chop up the leftover fibres and mix them all together, so it doesn’t matter where they come from or what their original job was supposed to be.

“After we cut them up, we mix them with plastic and this mix can be used in regular plastic-moulding machines, but it comes out stronger and lighter than any thermoplastic.

“We are the very first car-maker to use carbon-fibre on an industrial scale. Now we are able to use the leftover from the mainstream production on an industrial scale, too.”

To emphasise his point, BMW demonstrated a full, complex dashboard support structure made entirely out of one moulding from the new material.

“We have developed an instrument carrier (dash support structure) out of this material and it could replace the magnesium one at a weight saving of about 20 per cent. It’s even higher for seat frames because they’re typically made from heavier metals than magnesium.

“Carbon-fibre is an expensive material to work with, but if you are using production waste then it’s a different cost structure from working up raw carbon-fibre.

“It’s cheap, and that’s how we can position it as a competitor to magnesium.”


Words - Michael Taylor, www.carsales.com.au

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Californian company Newport Convertible Engineering (NCE) has just put the finishing touches on one of the world's first drop-top Nissan GT-Rs.

Though no price has been announced, NCE has fully designed and engineered the GT-R convertible to be fully compliant with vehicle design rules in the US.

It's not clear how much reinforcement the car's doors and floor have undergone with the missing roof, and how much performance is affected by the loss of a rigid roof, but make no mistake, the car will be a head-turner.

The extra kilos involved in reinforcing the body to make up for the lack of a roof is expected to add significant weight, and is certain to reduce the car's performance somewhat.

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It also remains to be seen if the body exhibits any flex under the extreme pressure of launch control.

NCE is saying the Nissan GT-R will be a limited edition conversion, and will be sold initially in three locations, the USA, Spain and Dubai.
Three versions will be offered says the company.

"NCE will design and engineer your Nissan GT-R to be a convertible super sport, Special Edition," states the company on the NCE website.

"Newport Convertible Engineering is currently the only US coach builder that designs, engineers and will distribute Nissan GTR Convertibles throughout the world," it says.

Powered by a front-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, the GTR Convertible is expected to belt out the same power as the coupe, 404kW and 628Nm of torque.

In Australia the Nissan GT-R coupe starts at $172,000, and is paired to six-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

The US company has been slicing roofs off cars for the past 30 years, some of the more memorable conversions being the Porsche Cayenne, Hummer H2 and Toyota LandCruiser convertible.

Looking for the world's best tuning solution for your R35?

MRT carries a range of braking, suspension and performance parts for the R35 GTR - view them here.

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As found at www.carsales.com.au

 

He's played villains and heroes in movies from Star Trek to Chopper, and now Hollywood A-lister and self-confessed petrol head Eric Bana will return to Mount Panorama to contest one of the toughest races in Australia, the Bathurst 12 Hour.

Bana will drive a Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 in Class B against 10 Porsche GT3 Cup Cars and a pair of Audi R8s as he looks for a spot on the podium alongside co-drivers (and good mate) Peter Hill and Simon Middleton.

“I can’t wait to get back to the circuit," said Bana, who has plenty of racing experience, having competed in two previous Bathurst 12 Hour races, several Targa Tasmania rallies, and a few rounds of the Australian GT Championship and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge.

"The car is fantastic to drive, and the thought of competing once again with a couple of mates at this event is very exciting," he said.

"I am thrilled that my calendar has allowed me to once again test myself at one of the world's most demanding circuits."

Bana's 2008 model Lambo race car will be prepared by Racing Incident while workwear company FXD is the major sponsor of the team.

Tackling the legendary 6.2km track will be no mean feat in the high-power Italian exotic race car, which takes place between February 7 - 9, but Bana appeared relaxed about entering the race.

"We are there to have some serious fun amongst an incredible line up of International A-Level Endurance Teams and Drivers," he said.

The 45-year-old Hollywood actor will come up against motoring.com.au's entry in the race, one of two Fiat Abarth 695 Assetto Corse race cars, based on the Fiat 500.

There is also a rumour that Eric Bana may co-drive with former F1 great Mark Webber in the Bathurst 12 Hour race in 2015, after Webber intimated as such in a tweet late last year.

From www.motoring.com.au

By Feann Torr

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The on-again, off-again saga of Audi’s electric supercar could finally be resolved, with an announcement expected on the R8 e-tron at March’s Geneva Motor show.

Audi president Rupert Stadler yesterday said the project was closer to a green light than it had ever been, even though the standard V8 and V10 R8 coupe and convertible models are in the final year of their production cycles.

“We will make an announcement on this car late in the first quarter of the year,” he said during the Detroit Motor Show yesterday.

“We never cancelled the car. We paused the production plans, yes, but we never stopped the research and development on it.”

Audi has built 10 of the supercars already, but instead of heading to customers they remained in Audi hands as development models while it axed the production version last autumn.

“We weren’t comfortable with having only 200km of range out of the R8 e-tron, and I think those fears have been proven with the electric Mercedes-Benz SLS. What have they sold, 20 cars? And it came with all of this attention and faded away to nothing. That’s not what we wanted to do.

“We have made significant advances in battery capacity and range, so that makes it a more interesting proposition again.”

The R8 e-tron was planned to have two electric motors, rear-wheel drive, a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds and a 200km/h top speed. Yet the 820Nm, 280kW EV would have cost more than €400,000 and Audi would still have lost money on every car.

Sources at Audi say the R8 e-tron has been developed to the point where it has a range closer to 500km thanks to better battery technology.

And the R8 e-tron also has the powerful backing of Audi’s technical boss, Ulrich Hackenberg, who drove the development of Volkswagen’s XL1 fuel sipper as well as the e-Golf, the e-Up! and the plug-in hybrid versions of the Golf and the Up! during his time at Volkswagen.
“I’m discussing with the board a way to realise this car and use it as a technology flagship. We need something to bring these new technologies to the market,” Mr Hackenberg said.

Article by Michael Taylor

www.carsales.com.au

If you own a late model European vehicle and you're in need of it being tuned, contact MRT now, we may have a solution for your model.

 

Hi Brett,

I Wanted to give you guys some feedback on the Ecutek tune I had done on my MY13 diesel Forester. I've done about 5000kms with the tune and I'm really happy with the results.

Around town the car feels much the same and I’m getting comparable fuel economy, if not slightly better. On the highway I’m getting slightly better fuel economy at 5.6L/100km, but it has gone down as low as 4.8L/100km.

I haven’t noticed a change in regens, but I mostly do long county trips.

The noticeable difference between before and after the tune is the massive increase in torque. When I plant my foot at around 2500rpm power comes on much faster and harder all the way to around 4000 revs. This extra power makes overtaking and hill climbs a breeze. It’s also a lot quicker off the mark - 0-100 time is now about 8.2 secs – a 2 sec improvement on stock.

Overall the tune has improved responsiveness and the extra grunt certainly makes it a far more enjoyable drive.

Cheers

Glen

Like to learn more about what's involved in the modifications mentioned by the happy customer above?

If you own the model before, do't worry - we have something to offer you too!

What do you get when you take a turbo diesel Forester racing, MRT's latest ARC car.

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DATSUN SILVIA and 200SX fans rejoice, because Nissan’s car czar has confirmed that the inexpensive rear-drive sports car is finally heading back our way.

Speaking at the Detroit motor show earlier this afternoon, company executive vice president, Andy Palmer, revealed to Wheels that the IDx Concept that wowed show goers in Tokyo last November is at last production-bound.

Expect to see the retro-infused coupe within the next two years, though probably not wearing the IDx badge.

Regular readers may recall that two visually similar but mechanically divergent concepts starred on Nissan’s stand back in Japan – the Freeflow (“a casual/lifestyle-focused vision” offering engine choices ranging from 1.2-litres to 1.5 litres) and Nismo (a sportier iteration employing 1.6-litre turbo power, and described as “an ultra-sporty model of the future that looks as if it came directly from a driving simulator”).

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Underlining their importance to the company, both are on hand at the American show as well.

“We’ve made a decision on one of those two,” Mr. Palmer announced. “One of those two will go into what we call our ‘midterm plan’. Now whether we do both remains to be seen. Don’t say we won’t do both, but we definitely will do one of them.”

While he would not go into anything more specific for the time being, Mr. Palmer added that Nissan is keen to return to a market it helped pioneer for four decades from the 1960s.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the conceptually similar Kia GT4 Stinger’s surprise debut in Detroit today.

Both are aimed at the same affordable rear-drive sports coupe market revived by our Car of the Year 2012-winning Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ.

Stay tuned for more IDx news as it comes to hand.

By Byron Mathioudakis
From Wheels Magazine

Another new and interesting looking set up. If this makes its way to Australia then MRT will definitely be keen to get a look at them. It could take the company back to its original days in the era of modifying Datsun 1600's for rallying.

We already offer a great deal of tuning and parts for some of the current model Nissa's on the market. Take a look at a Power Kit for your car here.

Search our huge online catalogue loaded with parts for your 350Z, 370Z, 200SX, Skyline and more!

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Just a day after the all-new Subaru WRX STI was leaked, the Japanese car maker has revealed a motorsport version of the highly-anticipated hot four-cylinder sedan.

The new racing car is the first official look at the new WRX STI, which will make its competitive debut at the Nurburgring 24-Hour endurance event in Germany, which runs June 19 through 22.

It marks the seventh consecutive year that Subaru Tecnica International, aka STI, has competed in the gruelling 24-hour endurance race, having twice been victorious in the SP3T class.

Subaru has not revealed technical specifications for the WRX STI race car, nor even the production car that is due to make its global debut on January 14 at the 2014 Detroit motor show.

The road-going Subaru WRX STI will arrive in Australia about a month after the regular WRX, in late April or early May, and is expected to pump out more herbs than the current car's 221kW/407Nm.

Only one CG image of the STI race car has been released (first image), whose major changes comprise a lower ride height, aerodynamic rear wing and front spoiler.

There's also a roll cage evident and light weight materials are likely to be in use, but it's not clear what tweaks STI has made to the car's powertrain - or what engine type it will run with.

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It could be a 2.0-litre or a 2.5-litre turbo-petrol boxer four-cylinder powerplant.

Whatever the case, Subaru is treating the race car as a development machine to further enhance its production vehicles, increasing the prospect of a WRX STI Spec R model in future.

"Through the participation in the race that demands speed and stability, Subaru will further enhance its engineering excellence," said the Japanese company in a press statement.

Subaru says its new race car "boasts a higher level of competitiveness" because it makes use of new technologies found in Subaru's road-going models.

The new WRX STI race car will be driven by Japanese drivers Toshihiro Yoshida and Kouta Sasaki at the 2014 Nurburgring 24-Hour endurance battle, and Subaru will announce two more European drivers in due course.

By Feann Torr, of www.motoring.com.au

Looking for more grunt from your current model Subaru STi?

Browse through hundreds of quality aftermarket and genuine parts for your STi right now.

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Kia’s rival for the Toyota 86 – GT4 Stinger - created a sensation in Detroit.

Wheels can reveal the “affordable sports car” with rear wheel drive is just two years away from production and is, according to one insider, certain to be sold in Australia.

The concept, powered by a 235kW turbocharged version of Kia’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine from the US Optima sedan, drives via a six-speed manual gearbox. The 4.3m-long Stinger, designed in Kia’s California design studio, is built on a unique platform with double wishbone suspension, a clear indication of just how serious the Koreans are in tackling Toyota.

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Tom Kearns, designer chief at Kia’s American studio says, "Driving enjoyment was the number one priority in the GT4 Stinger. It's a 2+2 sports car that can turn heads as a daily driver while also being right at home on the track. It's about purity, simplicity and timelessness. The GT4 Stinger is a throwback to days when driving a car was a visceral experience that was't muted by electronic gimmickry.”

Officially, Kia says that while there are no plans bring the concept to production, the company has a “history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to the concept that preceded them, and the GT4 Stinger provides a possible and highly provocative glimpse into Kia's future.”

The Stinger’s clean lines, beautiful detailing and a profile that could come from the Audi Quattro concept, mark this down as one of Kia’s most successful designs. Look out Toyota.

From Wheels Magazine
Story by Peter Robinson

If this vehicle sees production then you can bet that MRT will have some interest in testing and modifying them. Whilst we do't do much in the way of performance tuning upgrades for any of the current Kia range, we do stock and offer a multitude of aftermarket service and upgrade brake, suspension and handling items. Find parts for your Kia here.

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Almost 10,000 Great Wall V200 utes have been recalled due to a wiring fault.

The Australian importer of Great Wall Motors vehicles, Ateco Automotive, has issued a recall alert for owners of its V200 ute.

The recall outlines an issue with the vehicle's internal wiring harness, which can wear through its protective sleeve if it comes in contact with the radiator.

If this occurs, the Great Wall V200 ute's battery can be prematurely drained.

According to the official recall notice, "The defect may cause an earthing point preventing the wiring system from functioning correctly, resulting in the alternator dash light coming on or a flat battery.

"In extreme cases the wiring harness may melt internally," reads the recall notice.

In total 9134 vehicles that were sold across Australia are affected by the possible fault.

All affected owners will get a letter in the mail notifying them of the problem. It advises them to get in contact with their Great Wall Motors dealership in order to have their vehicle inspected.

As reported by www.motoring.com.au

 

For those looking for some more get up and go out of their V200 ute, you might be interested in this.

We also offer tuning solutions for the X200 model too.


Learn more about how EcuTeK helps improve the tune of your Great Wall.

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A spectacular front-engined rear-wheel drive sports coupe concept is Toyota's star attraction at the 2014 Detroit auto show.

And you can drive it today – at least on your computer.

Revealed overnight Australian time, the FT-1 – or Future Toyota Ultimate - is intended to set the template for a new more emotional Toyota design language.

Mind you, it took a little longer than expected to appear as helmeted models struggled to fully open the giant box it was lowered onto the Cobo Hall stage in.

While labelled a concept and yet to be confirmed for production, the FT-1 is from today available for download into the latest generation Gran Turismo 6 driving simulator game.

Toyota’s designers at the CALTY studio in California have worked with the Gran Turismo team in secrecy for two years on FT-1.

Toyota global chief Akio Toyoda has already given the digital FT-1 the thumbs up, setting a faster lap of Fuji speedway on Gran Turismo than he has in real life in his Lexus LFA.

Toyoda is the driving force behind the FT-1 concept and 2012’s wildly successful 86 sports coupe, leading the company’s ambition to recast its image as sportier and more youthful.

Toyota announced only minimal information about the FT-1 in Detroit, confirming it is powered by a petrol-fed internal combustion engine, which sits under a partly glass bonnet.

There was no clarification whether the FT-1 would form the basis of the sports car Toyota has signed on with BMW to co-develop, which has been dubbed a modern-day replacement for the legendary Supra coupe.

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In introducing the FT-1, CALTY president Kevin Hunter said: "This is a symbol of Toyota’s design future.

"Beyond its obvious visual impact, FT-1 is symbolic of a new chapter for Toyota global design. This provocative concept captures the passion, excitement and energy of the Toyota we are evolving into."

Hunter admitted Toyota had traditionally designed cars using market research and internal consensus in an effort to produce a universally liked design. That approach had now been canned.

"Toyota’s design efforts are now less reliant on consensus," he said. "We have empowered our designers to develop a passionate vision for future mobility. The goal is simple yet profound; develop future generations of products that connect on an emotional level."

From its heavily sculpted, ducted Formula racing car nose to its retracting rear wing, the FT-1 certainly does that.

Inside the presentation is similarly minimalist, with a cockpit focussed on the driving experience that includes a coloured heads-up display and vital controls on the F1-inspired steering wheel.

By Bruce Newton
www.carsales.com.au

 

The current Toyota of choice for driving and modification enthusiasts is undoubtedly the 86 (or Scion FR-S for those in the USA). MRT have developed a huge range of products for these vehicles, and will continue to do so. Check out just some of what is on offer here.

Want to know about forced induction kits for the Toyota 86?

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Subaru's cult coupe, the BRZ, enters Subaru dealerships for the first time in 2014.

First released in July 2012, the BRZ has until this point only been available via an online portal, which famously crashed upon inception thanks to massive demand.

Subaru Australia has benefitted from 'increased production efficiencies' at Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru's parent company) which has enabled the retail dealership roll-out.

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"We continue to work closely with Fuji to keep Australian waiting lists to a minimum," Subaru spokesman David Rowley told Wheels. "We always said we'd roll-out BRZ to our dealer network, once sufficient production was assured and that's now proved to be the case."

BRZ will be offered through all authorised Subaru dealers and will be priced at a National Driveaway rate to match what is offered online, making the six-speed manial $37,150 and the six-speed automatic $39,730. The online portal will also continue.

Subaru has sold 1800 BRZs in Australia since launch in July 2012.

Article as found at Wheels Magazine website.

 

Want more torque, power, drivability and fun out of your BRZ (or 86) without effecting your warranty?

If you're looking for genuine parts, aftermarket upgrades or power and suspension kits for your BRZ/86 then we have your needs covered.

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ARC Update 2012 & plans for 2013

Following on our rally success in 2012 (for those that do't already know - we won the SUV Championship with a couple of rounds to go!) its to be expected that MRT will announce their complete 2013 plans shortly. What we can tell you here within our E-Magazine is that myself and Andrew Benefield will compete in the full 2013 Australian Rally Championship in our (unique) Subaru Turbo Diesel Forester. The aim is to win another SUV title to back up our 2012 win, as well as to continue to develop the Subaru diesel engine from a tuning perspective and the current generation Forester chassis from a suspension point of view.

What I ca't say right now is who will be partnering us with regard to corporate partners. As soon as this is finalised we will release that info here, to you, our valued customers and readers.

 

Hot Tuner Challenge

Well Motor Magazines annual Hot Tuner Challenge is done and dusted for the 2012 year. I think that's now four years in a row that MRT have competed, everyone one of them with at least one Subaru or more!

This year our faithful partner Troy Kelly and his MPS gen 2 came along for the ride, and MRT presented their new Subaru BRZ. Given the time constraints on taking delivery of the BRZ and getting it ready for the event I'd really like to thank all of our partnering suppliers and most of all my MRT Performance staff for all the extra time and effort they put into ensuring the car was in the best possible set up for the shoot out.

What a challenge it was!
Less than four weeks to prepare and test the BRZ was a tough ask, especially when the other shops had their Toyota's for weeks before us!

Our aim was always to deliver an outstanding overall package that displays the ability of MRT and our corporate partners. We certainly achieved that!

We will run a separate story for updates on this, as well as keep an eye on the growing list of videos here - https://www.youtube.com/user/Brettmiddleton

 

Reasearch and Development

The entire team has been working tirelessly to finish off final testing and begin production of a range of new parts, as well as the functionality of our E-Catalogue/Webstore so it makes it easy for you to locate all the latest and greatest parts for your car. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks as not only will we be launching more BRZ parts (a large portion of the items we ran on our car at HTC), we will also be activating some new advanced functions and features within the webstore.

The new EcuTeK Pro Cable has been an instant hit both here in Australia and worldwide. It now gives us the abilty to send you out a map for you to upload to your car, great if you want an EcuTeK tune but you're not within a reasonable driving distance of your local authorised outlet. Please note this does not apply to all EcuTek supported models. Please refer to our E-Catalogue to see if you vehicle is included.

For our Australian based readers, do't forget summer is coming. Now is a good time to check out the ever expanding range of MRT intercoolers.

 

That's it for this issue. Until next time, happy motoring and stay safe.

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US motor racing legend negotiates with DJR, looks at FPR.

The structure of Ford’s V8 Supercars program could undergo a dramatic transformation as soon as 2015 with US motor racing legend Roger Penske seriously investigating a presence on the grid.

Penske has been in negotiations to buy, invest in or sponsor Dick Johnson Racing, but the factory-backed Ford Performance Racing team could also be as target for the billionaire who runs NASCAR and IndyCar operations in North America.

Penske’s interest in V8 Supercars and Ford’s interest in one of its key NASCAR partners getting involved here was signalled by the presence of Penske Racing president Tim Cindric and Ford Racing global boss Jamie Allison at Sydney Olympic Park last weekend for the final round of the V8 Supercars Championship.

The rumour mill immediately starting running full throttle about when and how Penske would arrive, but 2015 makes sense because that is when FPR’s recently renewed one-year deal with Ford expires.

The speculation is infuriating FPR owners Rod Nash and Rusty French, who only took over the team at the start of 2013 and have endured constant speculation about its future.

“It is just vicious rumour,” said Nash. “We have been trying to get Jamie Allison out for quite some time. He does 46 races a year and NASCAR has just finished, so given all that’s gone on with Ford this year it’s been good to get him out here. But there’s no strategy behind it, they just took the view ‘let’s go to Sydney and have a look’.

“We have no desire to sell, we have good plans and we are working on some good positives at the moment.”

There have also been suggestions that Aussie NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose will return home to headline a Penske V8 team and the newly unveiled Mustang coupe will be the race car, replacing the soon to be defunct Falcon.

Of course, that plan depends on V8 Supercars allowing two-door coupes to race against sedans, something it is known to be considering.

While both men played down the significance of their presence in Sydney -- Cindric describing Penske Racing joining V8 Supercars as “a stretch as we stand here today” -- it has emerged Penske himself has been in Australia twice in recent months and has visited DJR, FPR, Ford Australia and its president Bob Graziano and new V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton.

And it’s not all been one way, with Dick Johnson, key business advisers and investors Steve Brabeck and Ryan Story and newly appointed team sporting director Campbell Little being flown to Penske Racing’s HQ in Mooresville North Carolina to discuss a business deal. Little also attended NASCAR and IndyCar races with Penske Racing.

In that light, DJR bolstering its stocks with Little, purchasing a second Racing Entitlements Contract (REC) and hiring young gun Scott Pye when 2014 sponsorship arrangements were yet to be locked down, makes a whole lot more sense.

Penske’s Australian interest has been heightened because he purchased the Australian distribution rights in October to Western Star trucks, which services 85 dealerships.

Throughout his substantial automotive retailing career he has always used motorsport as a promotional vehicle and understands its power as business-to-business networking tool. He has clearly decided to continue that philosophy here.

“What you have to understand is Roger didn’t come down here to look at race teams. He came here to run a business,” Cindric said.

“We have a huge business interest in Australia and his marketing for his businesses is all centred around racing. And the business is a big part of what drives the racing program… so before we make any decisions about how we leverage racing and business you have to understand the business and the people in it.

“I will give him feedback and then it is completely his decision about what he does in the near future or down the road.”

Story by Bruce Newton, as can be viewed at www.carsales.com.au

 

Looking for your own parts to build you dream race car, perhaps you just need some replacement braking items for your daily run around car?

 

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And 2015 model year Liberty sedan will incorporate coupe-style roofline.

Last month we brought you spy photos of Subaru’s next generation Liberty wagon.

Now, the sedan version gets an airing in these fuzzy, snapped-in-Europe  Automedia photos that provide some clues about rear-end styling, as well as a more indicative look at the front end.

The grille shows horizontal bars with an attached Subaru logo, and the arched, coupe-style side window lines also look pretty clear, although the taillight shapes can only be guessed at. The car appears to have a similar high-rumped look to the current model.

Indications are that the next Subaru Liberty will be distinctly evolutionary, with similar overall proportions to the current car although the location of the door handles on the test mule – located a lot lower in the front doors than the back and seemingly out of synch with the lower window lines – is a little puzzling. Maybe there’s more to come from the next round of spy pix.

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As reported previously, the next Liberty is expected to be available with a version of the current 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine, along with the choice of six-speed manual or CVT transmissions. The 2.0-litre turbo engine seen in the current Forester is also expected to appear in the GT version of the next Liberty.

The new generation Liberty is anticipated to see the light of day in late 2014 as a 2015 model.

Automedia also managed to capture long-lens pics of what is clearly the Outback version of the next Liberty wagon, complete with high-riding stance, brawny front and rear bumpers and substantial roof rails. The Outback could be reasonably expected to launch around the same time as sedan and regular wagon versions of the next Liberty.

– with Automedia
From www.motoring.com.au

Interested in learning what can be gained by retuning the factory ECU in the current model Outback turbo diesel?

MRT Power Kit, including a warranty gaurantee for your Outback.

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It’s news to make most motorsport nuts lightheaded: Mark Webber could race a Porsche at the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour.

And if Webber alone isn’t enough of a drawcard, he’s planning to share the car with movie megastar Eric Bana.

Webber confirmed his plans on his official Twitter this morning, responding to incorrect rumours the drive would take place at next year’s event:

Mark Webber @AussieGrit “@harrytuckerr: @harrytuckerr: Holy crap, @AussieGrit and @EricBana67 racing a Porsche together at the @Bathurst12hour next year!” No 2015.

Interestingly the drive is unlikely to be in a factory backed Porsche, with Porsche Cars Australia revealing it currently has no plans to prepare a car.

That could change by 2015, or the drive could fall through altogether.
Fingers crossed it doesn’t…

From Wheels Magazine

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Having recently rolled out its P1 flagship, McLaren is now focusing on the opposite end of its range – specifically, a Porsche 911 Turbo/Audi R8 V10 rival codenamed P13 that goes on sale in 2015.

These latest Automedia spy pics reveal a P13 test mule close up, but as we've noted before, don’t read anything into the car’s appearance as it’s merely an MP4-12C bodyshell that’s being used to cloak the mechanicals of the upcoming entry-level model.

UK sources suggest the P13 will cost around £120,000 in its home market (more or less on par with an Audi R8 V10), which would extrapolate to an Aussie pricetag of roughly $350,000 – undercutting its MP4-12C big brother by almost $150k.

Although cheaper and marginally more compact than the 12C, the P13 is built around the same carbonfibre MonoCell chassis housing a detuned version of the Ricardo-built twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 that propels the 12C.

It’s believed the P13 will have around 330kW at its disposal, which is obviously some way short of the 460kW eked out by the 12C.

Visually, expect the car to draw on the design language embodied by the P1, although the entry model is unlikely to look quite as dramatic or extreme as the hybrid range-topper. That said, it’s expected to make more of a visual statement than the slightly restrained 12C.

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The P13 will be a crucial car for McLaren’s bottom line, as it will account for a big chunk of the 4000 annual sales the brand is aiming to notch up from 2015.

This year, McLaren is on track to sell just 1400 cars, which would match the company’s tally for 2012. That said, the first 40 units of the P1 will be delivered by the end of the year, enabling the carmaker to break even for 2013.

The P13 will add huge economies of scale to McLaren’s road-car operation, amortising the cost of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 powertrain and carbonfibre MonoCell chassis.

It’s likely the car will make its first public appearance at the 2014 Paris motor show, with sales set to commence in the second quarter of 2015.

As per the 12C, the P13 will initially be offered in coupe form, with a retractable hard-top Spider derivative to follow in 2016.

– with Automedia

From www.carsales.com.au

By Gautam Sharma


For those of us not likely to have the cash to afford one of these exquisite machines, there's always the MRT online catalogue to upgrade and enhance your current drive.

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These pictures, courtesy of the spy photographers at Automedia, provide clues to a production-ready design for the Mitsubishi "L200" Pick Up, known as the Triton here in Oz. The next generation Triton was first unveiled as the Concept GR-HEV at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, but the spy pics clearly show Mitsubishi has adopted a much more conservative style for the production Triton.

Playing it safe in the design department – opting for a very similar shape and style to the existing model – Mitsubishi has crafted a front end featuring a boxier look, rather than the sleek design of the concept seen in Geneva. The higher bonnet line points to enhanced pedestrian safety.

Similarly, the rear end of the new generation Triton is more subdued, eschewing the flowing, futuristic tail lights of the concept.

The heavily wrapped club cab Triton offers similar proportions to the existing model, indicating the same levels of comfort and space will carry over.

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Safe is the key word here. Rather than go for the polarising design revolution seen with the Concept GR-HEV, Mitsubishi has opted for evolution with the next generation Triton, a design that invariably screams "pick-up truck."

The new Triton will be powered by a 2.5-litre diesel engine that will produce anywhere between 103kW and 110kW of power and feature the Super Select 4WD system introduced to the current Triton in 2008.

Talk of a hybrid version of the Triton has been circulating since the unveiling of the Concept GR-HEV, with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation board member and Product Projects and Strategy boss, Ryugo Nakao telling motoring.com.au in Tokyo last month that "The Triton successor will get a new diesel engine only at launch. The hybrid system will not be available at that time."

But a conventional hybrid (ie: not a plug-in) will follow the Triton to market – by about 18 months – as Mitsubishi Motors Corporation president, Osamu Masuko revealed at the same forum.

Like the outgoing Triton, the new model will be available in single, double and club cab variants and should hit Australian shores in 2014.

– with Automedia

Story by Tung Nguyen, as found at www.motoring.com.au

To see what excellent tuning results MRT have accomplished with the current and previous generation Tritons, click here.

Learn why more and more Triton owners are having their vehicle tuned with EcuTeK tuning solutions now.

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Volvo has confidently declared the engine powering its V8 Supercars Championship contender is on track to deliver competitive performance when it debuts in 2014.

A mock-up of the 5.0-litre V8 that will power the Volvo Polestar Racing S60 was unveiled this morning at the Sydney NRMA Motoring & Services 500, six months on from the announcement the Swedish manufacturer would enter the V8 Supercars Championship.

However, there was no news today on a new naming rights sponsor for the team, or who will be young gun Scott McLaughlin’s team-mate in the two-car squad next year.

The new factory Volvo team is an amalgamation of Garry Rogers Motorsport -- which is currently a privateer Holden team -- Volvo’s global motorsport partner Polestar Racing and Volvo Car Australia.

Polestar Racing is conducting the development of the engine in Sweden and is currently in the final stages of dyno tuning.

“By the end of this month we will have completion in test rigs and then Garry’s team is going it put it into the car mid to late January,” Volvo Car Corporation Motorsport Technical Director Martin Persson told motoring.com.au.

“The results from the test rigs so far, we are very happy with those. We think this is an excellent engine for Australian racing.”

The double overhead camshaft B8444S engine is unusual technically because its cylinder banks are splayed at a narrow 60-degree angle, rather than the 90 degrees usual for a V8.

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If Volvo does deliver a competitive package from the start of testing in January it will be step ahead of Nissan and Erebus AMG, which have both endured performance and fuel economy issues in their debut 2013 seasons.

Persson said he was confident the fuel economy of the engine would be competitive.

“Right now the tests show we won’t have any problems with fuel consumption. We are quite happy with the results as they are.

“But the engine has to be mounted in the car and run in the car, but we won’t have those results until next year.”

The first Volvo S60 V8 Supercar could have its first shakedown run this month still using a Chevrolet engine from GRM’s current Holden program, before swapping to the Volvo unit for homologation.

“We are looking at all sorts of options because we won’t have a proper engine for at least another month or more,” said Rogers. “So we just need to make sure the homologation process is right. We are looking at ways we can get the aero done and then homologate the car once we have the Volvo engine.

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Rogers said he was confident finding a replacement for naming-rights sponsor Fujitsu, which has announced it will not be renewing its deal beyond this year.

“We don’t have a sponsor as yet. We are talking to several parties but at this stage we don’t have anyone that has handed over the money.”

And a decision on whether Frenchman Alex Premat continues with the team or not, is still some time away.

“The driver situation is still being put together -- expect an announcement in the new year,” Volvo Car Australia Managing Director Matt Braid said.

Intriguingly, one person is convinced he knows who will be in the car is Premat himself: “I have a contract with Garry Rogers Motorsport until the end of 2014, so legally I am here and that is all I am going to say.”

By Bruce Newton, available at www.carsales.com.au

 

For all your brake, suspension and performance needs for your own track weapon, or daily driver, check out the MRT online catalogue.

Looking to power up your late model Subaru, Mitsubishi, Mazda or Toyota - try an MRT Power Kit.

 

 

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Subaru has announced online orders are now open for the next-gen WRX.

Following on from the sales success of last year’s BRZ online ordering program, Subaru Australia will take up to 100 pre-orders for its latest cult car via the website www.subaru.com.au/wrx-top-100

The reaction to the BRZ online experiment was so frenzied that the website couldn’t initially handle the traffic, but fear not — the system is more robust this time around. “We learned a lot from BRZ online,” Subaru spokesman David Rowley told Wheels. “No-one outside the company knew about the WRX site until today, and without the pre-publicity on pricing and specification we expect the demand to be more manageable, more enthusiast-driven…the backend has been built to cope,” he continued.

A $2500 deposit will guarantee shipment within the first Australian WRX batch, which is expected in March/April 2014. With price and spec not announced, online customers will retain the right to have their deposit fully refunded; otherwise they’ll have 14 days to complete the transaction once the vehicle has landed.

Online pre-orders for the new WRX will close at 11:59pm on December 2013, or when 100 orders have been taken; whichever comes first.

Once the online quota has been filled Subaru will adopt a more traditional retail roll-out, with subsequent vehicles sold through the dealer network.

From Wheels Magazine

 

Current WRX owners looking to upgrade the performance of their car, without voiding their warranty, can read all about the MRT Power Kits here.

Learn more about why EcuTeK is the number one tuning solution for you and your Subaru - turbo model Impreza, Liberty, Forester & BRZ all supported & more.

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Australian rally star Chris Atkinson is returning to the World Rally Championship with Hyundai. And this is the beastie he will be driving.

The global reveal of the Hyundai i20 World Rally Car included the announcement of Shell as the primary sponsor, along with prominent ‘N’ logos pointing to the newly created Hyundai road car performance division, which Hyundai Australia has shown great interest in bringing to the local market.

Queenslander Atkinson has played a major part in the i20’s WRC development program, having been appointed to the testing squad. The 2012 Asia Pacific Rally Champion has been confirmed for several events in 2014, partnering lead driver Thierry Neuville. Thankfully, Atko’s program includes Rally Australia.

“It’s a nice early Christmas present to be given this opportunity to return to the WRC with Hyundai Motorsport,” he said. “It’s going to be awesome to compete in front of my home crowd on the Coates Hire Rally Australia.”

The 34-year-old has made 75 starts in the World Rally Championship, with six podium placings. His last factory drive was with Subaru in 2008, where he finished fifth in the standings.

In all, the i20 WRC has completed more than 8000 kilometres of mixed-surface testing as the buoyant Korean company looks to compete with the all-conquering factory Volkswagen Polo Rs in 2014.

From Wheels Magazine

 

For more details on MRT's rally team efforts throughout 2013 and plans for the coming 2014, click here.

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Australian rally star Chris Atkinson is returning to the World Rally Championship with Hyundai. And this is the beastie he will be driving.

The global reveal of the Hyundai i20 World Rally Car included the announcement of Shell as the primary sponsor, along with prominent ‘N’ logos pointing to the newly created Hyundai road car performance division, which Hyundai Australia has shown great interest in bringing to the local market.

Queenslander Atkinson has played a major part in the i20’s WRC development program, having been appointed to the testing squad. The 2012 Asia Pacific Rally Champion has been confirmed for several events in 2014, partnering lead driver Thierry Neuville. Thankfully, Atko’s program includes Rally Australia.

“It’s a nice early Christmas present to be given this opportunity to return to the WRC with Hyundai Motorsport,” he said. “It’s going to be awesome to compete in front of my home crowd on the Coates Hire Rally Australia.”

The 34-year-old has made 75 starts in the World Rally Championship, with six podium placings. His last factory drive was with Subaru in 2008, where he finished fifth in the standings.

In all, the i20 WRC has completed more than 8000 kilometres of mixed-surface testing as the buoyant Korean company looks to compete with the all-conquering factory Volkswagen Polo Rs in 2014.

From Wheels Magazine

 

For more details on MRT's rally team efforts throughout 2013 and plans for the coming 2014, click here.

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After several years of meagre sales and ho-hum products, Mitsubishi appears to have turned a corner following significant internal restructuring including rechanneling resources from an underperforming plant in Europe to bolster its North American production facility and announcing a collaboration with the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

That turnaround will see the company post record net profits for fiscal 2013 on the back of debuting three strategic SUV concepts at the recent Tokyo motor show, which will form the basis of the company’s future core product line-up including the next Pajero and Outlander (and plug-in hybrid versions thereof).

In line with Mitsubishi’s ‘New Stage 2016’ business plan spanning the three-year period from 2014-2016, company CEO Osamu Masuko said that his R&D team will streamline Mitsubishi’s current 23 models built on 12 different platforms to just 13 models on seven platforms by 2016. Mitsubishi will also build two sedans using Renault platforms.

And here’s a scoop – while Mitsubishi’s next-generation Lancer will employ a Renault platform, the company’s next high-performance Evolution model will not.

‘But I thought the Evo was in cryogenic freeze, with the current Evo X never to be replaced,’ we hear you say. Not so.

In early 2011, one British publication reported that the “Evo series is dead with the Evo X.” In response, CEO Masuko made the unprecedented move to counter those claims by saying: “The Evo as you know it is no more. The new model will take a completely different direction. What you will see in the near future will be a totally new Evo that employs innovative technology and inspired handling”.

Our source in Japan has now confirmed that, uncovering plans from inside the halls of Mitsubishi’s Tokyo HQ that show the company is well into the development of a next-generation Evo.

The image you see here is an artist’s impression of what the next-gen Evo might look like, based on design cues of recent concept cars like the stylish XR-PHEV concept revealed at Tokyo.

However, from what we are hearing, the next Evo will be so different to the 10 Evo generations that were churned out like clockwork every two years since 1993 that it will most probably end up with a totally new name.

Firstly, the demands on the performance and handling side are so great that no Renault platform could cope, says our insider. The next Evo will be an extension of the huge strides that Mitsubishi has made in battery and plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV) technology, as witnessed in the Outlander PHEV.

The next Evo will be a fusion of “uncompromised handling with state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid EV technology,” stresses our contact.

That’s why it has to employ a unique platform. The next Evo will be a showcase of the company’s premium technologies and must therefore sit on a specially developed platform. It all comes down to the cost effectiveness of next-generation PHEV technology, which must achieve greater range while incorporating a smaller engine, smaller electric motors and lighter, better performing batteries.

The company’s new modular technology will incorporate a ‘downsized’ direct-injection turbo-petrol engine and a revised version of Mitsubishi’s tried-and-proven Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC), which integrates the management of an active centre differential, active yaw control, active stability control and sports ABS.

Our source tells us that the Evo’s R&D team is currently evaluating an enhanced version of the 100kW 1.1 litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine powering the sharp-edged XR-PHEV concept revealed at the Tokyo show in November.

“This engine generates at least 35 per cent more power than any comparably sized engine,” says our source, “so it should be plenty for the new Evo.”

The next-gen Evo will also be 4WD, but not as you know it. Like the Outlander PHEV, the Evo will employ motors front and aft, but while they will generate similar amounts of power, they will be significantly downsized and the battery pack will be slotted in under the rear seats, resulting in perfect 50/50 front/rear weight distribution.

Yet another source close to Mitsubishi informs us that the next-generation S-AWC, when integrated with the front and rear electric motors, will achieve handling capabilities that will surpass any previous Evo, including the Evo X.

And that is why, he says, the new Evo will not employ a Renault chassis. “Sure, the stock Lancer is slated to sit on a Renault Megane platform, but the Evo requires something quite special, a platform that can only be developed in-house.”

And that raises another interesting point. If the next Evo does not employ the same Renault platform as the next Lancer, then it will not be defined as a Lancer. So it will need a new name, says one Mitsubishi source.

Whatever Mitsubishi calls it, the new ‘Evo’ will rival its most direct competitor for performance, handling and fuel-efficiency, with state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid technology making it all possible.

 

As found at www.carsales.com.au

By Peter Lyon

Current Mitsubishi Evolution owners can find out here all they need to know about the best value for money performance kit upgrades MRT can offer them.

Need some new brakes, suspension or engine parts for your Evo I - X?

Check out the MRT online catalogue for all your needs.

ARC Update 2012 & plans for 2013

Following on our rally success in 2012 (for those that do't already know - we won the SUV Championship with a couple of rounds to go!) its to be expected that MRT will announce their complete 2013 plans shortly. What we can tell you here within our E-Magazine is that myself and Andrew Benefield will compete in the full 2013 Australian Rally Championship in our (unique) Subaru Turbo Diesel Forester. The aim is to win another SUV title to back up our 2012 win, as well as to continue to develop the Subaru diesel engine from a tuning perspective and the current generation Forester chassis from a suspension point of view.

What I ca't say right now is who will be partnering us with regard to corporate partners. As soon as this is finalised we will release that info here, to you, our valued customers and readers.

 

Hot Tuner Challenge

Well Motor Magazines annual Hot Tuner Challenge is done and dusted for the 2012 year. I think that's now four years in a row that MRT have competed, everyone one of them with at least one Subaru or more!

This year our faithful partner Troy Kelly and his MPS gen 2 came along for the ride, and MRT presented their new Subaru BRZ. Given the time constraints on taking delivery of the BRZ and getting it ready for the event I'd really like to thank all of our partnering suppliers and most of all my MRT Performance staff for all the extra time and effort they put into ensuring the car was in the best possible set up for the shoot out.

What a challenge it was!
Less than four weeks to prepare and test the BRZ was a tough ask, especially when the other shops had their Toyota's for weeks before us!

Our aim was always to deliver an outstanding overall package that displays the ability of MRT and our corporate partners. We certainly achieved that!

We will run a separate story for updates on this, as well as keep an eye on the growing list of videos here - https://www.youtube.com/user/Brettmiddleton

 

Reasearch and Development

The entire team has been working tirelessly to finish off final testing and begin production of a range of new parts, as well as the functionality of our E-Catalogue/Webstore so it makes it easy for you to locate all the latest and greatest parts for your car. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks as not only will we be launching more BRZ parts (a large portion of the items we ran on our car at HTC), we will also be activating some new advanced functions and features within the webstore.

The new EcuTeK Pro Cable has been an instant hit both here in Australia and worldwide. It now gives us the abilty to send you out a map for you to upload to your car, great if you want an EcuTeK tune but you're not within a reasonable driving distance of your local authorised outlet. Please note this does not apply to all EcuTek supported models. Please refer to our E-Catalogue to see if you vehicle is included.

For our Australian based readers, do't forget summer is coming. Now is a good time to check out the ever expanding range of MRT intercoolers.

 

That's it for this issue. Until next time, happy motoring and stay safe.

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Local demand for fire-breathing Nissan GT-R Nismo strong, as Altima emerges as most likely new Nismo model
It's very much a case of 'whe' not 'if' the Nismo brand comes to Australia, but that does't help customers who want to place deposits on the Nissan GT-R Nismo immediately.

The day after the sizzling GT-R Nismo was revealed at last week’s Tokyo motor show, Nissan Australia Managing Director and CEO Peter Jones told motoring.com.au that one dealer wanted to place five orders for the wild new Japanese supercar.

Even so, the company is still no closer to confirming when we'll see Nissa's high-performance brand launch in Australia.

"I've taken a lot of calls and already had a dealer ring me and say I've got five orders for the GT-R Nismo, and are we getting it. The answer is clearly no, not yet."

Nissa's high-performance hot shop has three production models available to customers overseas at present, the Nissan GT-R Nismo, 370Z Nismo and JUKE Nismo. All three are built in right-hand drive configuration with engine, chassis and body work upgrades, and could be sold Down Under.

But Nissan is providing no clues as to which one we'll see first and when that might be.

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"Nismo is one of those things we're studying, and there'll be a time and place for Nismo in Australia, but right now we've just launched two models, Pathfinder and Altima. We’re concentrating on that," stated Jones.

It's on record that Nismo plans to release one new production model each year, and with the GT-R Nismo confirmed for 2014, an Altima Nismo could be the next model in 2015 -- and potentially the reason Nissan Australia is holding off launching the pulse-pounding brand locally.

We've previously reported about a hardcore Nismo-tuned Altima, the regular version of which officially goes on sale in Australia on December 1.

But the Nissan Australia chief would't be drawn on the topic, saying only that an HSV-rivalling Altima was being looked at.

"It's one of those things that we haven’t made any decisions on and obviously with all things Nismo we're going to study it [Altima Nismo]. But at this point in time I ca't confirm that we're going get it," said Jones.

Nismo President Shoichi Miyatani recently told motoring.com.au that Nismo could be launched in Australia as early as next year, but Jones says he's yet to have a discussion with the Nismo supremo.

"When he [Miyatani] came out and said it, I've got to say he had't picked up the phone and spoken to us.

"Our line continues to be there will be a time and place for that, and I think some of the cars we're bringing out now Nismo would enhance -- the JUKE and others, with all the add-ons."

Story by Feann Torr
www.carsales.com.au

Learn more about the MRT Power Kits for the Nissan GTR R35 here.

Research parts for this car and the info relating to them.

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Mazda has revealed it is considering both petrol and diesel-powered performance versions of its new Mazda3 small car, but don’t expect a new-generation MPS model any time soon.

Asked by Australian journalists on the eve of today’s Tokyo motor show about the chances of a new Mazda3 MPS, Mazda Motor Corporation President and CEO Masamichi Kogai suggested the Japanese brand was investigating a radical departure for its small hot hatch.

"The diesel engine has a very strong potential in the future … it’s a possibility," he said.

motoring.com.au understands Mazda is studying both petrol and diesel MPS models to top the new Mazda3 line-up, which goes on sale in February.

However, if a Mazda3 MPS eventuated, it would not appear until midlife makeover time for the new 3. Given all new Mazda passenger vehicles are now on five-year model cycles, that means not before mid-2016.

It’s not clear if a Mazda3 MPS diesel would be powered by the Mazda6’s 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, or a smaller diesel engine.

Either way, an oil-burning Mazda3 would follow in the footsteps of Volkswagen’s Golf GTD, which is positioned as a hot diesel hatch alongside the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol Golf GTI.

However, the initial Mazda3 line-up will itself include a 2.5-litre petrol-powered SP25 and Mazda does not currently have a turbo-petrol engine in its new SKYACTIV line-up.

Casting more clouds over a direct replacement for the outgoing turbo-petrol Mazda3 MPS, Kogai-san today indicated Mazda was unlikely to produce a turbocharged petrol engine in the near future.

"When we started planning for SKYACTIV (petrol engines) we concluded that adding a turbocharger would be an additional function and therefore we decided to take the naturally aspirated approach.

"Also the turbocharger has a weakness in low-speed torque, so if that kind of issue is overcome and costs also come down then I’m not wedded to avoiding turbochargers.

"We are not working on turbochargers right now, but we are closely monitoring how the technology evolves in terms of cost and performance and we’ll continue to monitor the evolution of the technology," concluded Kogai.

Words Marton Pettendy
www.motoring.com.au

 

Owners of the Mazda 3 MPS Gen One and 3 MPS Gen Two may already be familiar with our work with those cars.

We also offer tuning solutions and upgrades for the following Mazdas too;

6 MPS

CX-5

CX-7

MX-5 (2005 model onwards)

 

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Breaking the two-second barrier for his pitstop in the US GP gives the Aussie retiring from F1 a place in the history books
Just when we thought he was bowing out of Formula One without a world championship Mark Webber has won one – with a record short pitstop.

Red Bull Racing says Webber’s sole stop in the 2013 United States Grand Prix took less than two seconds – the fastest recorded.

“The team’s car data recorded Mark as being stationary for just 1.923 seconds,” RBR has said.

F1 pitstops have become progressively faster since refueling was abolished in 2010 and crews now usually only change a car’s four tyres.

The previous fastest stop was Webber’s second at this year’s Malaysian GP – at 2.05 seconds – before the controversial pass by his teammate Sebastian Vettel that day that denied the Aussie what would have been a victory in his final F1 season.

That stop beat the 2.31 seconds the McLaren team had recorded for a Jenson Button pitstop during the 2012 German GP.

RBR team principal Christian Horner has called the sub-two-second stop for Webber’s car at the Circuit of the Americas “an incredible feat … an incredible team performance”.

Webber will retire from F1 after the Brazilian GP next Monday morning, Australian time, which he is hoping will produce the 10th win of his 12-year career in the world’s major motor racing series before he switches to sports car racing next year with Porsche.

Vettel will be going for a 13th win of the year at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo – a feat that would equal his German countryman Michael Schumacher’s 2004 record.

It also would be 26-year-old four-time world champion Vettel’s ninth straight victory – something only achieved in GPs by Italian Alberto Ascari across the 1951-52 seasons.

By Geoffery Harris of www.carsales.com.au

If you want to break some records of your own then browse to the MRT online catalogue and webshop to find great items such as Whiteline suspension components, DBA disc brakes and EcuTeK tuning solutions.

Need somewhere to learn how to get the most from your car at a track day?

Try an MRT track day for a great day of car education and track driving assistance.

 

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Subaru’s new FA20DIT is being developed into a highly efficient racing engine for Le Mans Prototypes. The apparently radical eLMP R engine from Revolutionary Technologies United (RTU) is a 1.6 turbo charged short stroke boxer engine based on a standard Subaru block, it was revealed for the first time at the PMW Expo in Cologne, Germany.

It is expected that it will produce in excess of 550bhp and can run with very little cooling indeed due to its use of a patented ‘Pseudo Adiabatic’ combustion process. This the team behind the project would make a car using it not only highly fuel efficient but also highly aerodynamically efficient due to significantly reduced cooling demands. However the engine is on the heavy side at 130kg.

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The man behind the project, Al Solari has something of an interesting past in sportscar racing but claims that this technology has already been proven on a five cylinder Audi engine which developed in excess of 800bhp. Certainly if the technology works as claimed then the engine would (aside from its weight) be highly competitive in a fuel flow restricted formula.

Performance figures and verification of the RTU claims will be announced at the Autosport Engineering Show in January on stand E1162.

From www.racecar-engineering.com

 

If you're looking to build your own Subaru racing engine or complete car, get in touch with MRT to benefit from our years of experience.

For those upgrades you need to get that bit more out of your Subaru engine - try the online parts catalogue and webstore.

MRT stocks Elf racing fuels, as well as kits containing the bits required to set up and run an E-Flex Ethanol fuel solution (more info coming soon, contact MRT for details).

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Subaru has confirmed its all-new WRX will make its world debut at the Los Angeles motor show next week (November 20), and now motoring.com.au can reveal the higher-performance STI version will break cover at the Detroit show in January.

Our sources have also exposed the key specification differences between the WRX and STI, a Holiday Auto magazine rendering of which is pictured here, and the news is not good for those expecting more power or the fresh, aggressive look of the well-accepted WRX Concept car that appeared at the New York show in April.

In fact, the biggest and most critical new development for the next-generation WRX and STI performance sedans, which for the first time will wear different four-door bodyshells from the Impreza sedan upon which they’re based, is their new ‘Axle Forward Layout’ chassis configuration.

Unrelated to the Aussie rules competition with which it shares its name (AFL), the new architecture was previewed on the Exiga concept car at the 1997 Tokyo show and is expected to give the new WRX and STI even better handling, balance and stability.

The main difference between Subaru’s current all-wheel drive layout and the new AFL is the positioning of the clutch and front differential.

With the clutch and diff effectively switching places, the front axle is now located further forward than before, meaning the engine can be positioned lower and further back in the chassis, thus optimising front-rear weight distribution.

This modification also permits the wheelbase to be lengthened, which also serves to enhance interior space and allows for a revision of the suspension components.

The 2014 WRX will also employ a new torque distribution function. The current WRX STI incorporates a front-rear torque vectoring system with centre diff control, but all new WRXs will be fitted with an additional torque distribution set-up that independently adjusts brake pressure on all four wheels.

Our source tells us this new technology uses a revised brake control system that electronically manages and restricts torque being fed to the inside tyres when turning into a corner, thereby pulling the car into the corner and reducing understeer.

Now to the juicy part: the engines. Given the WRX and STI are global cars, powertrains will differ between markets. Australia will get the same engine as the car’s biggest market, North America.

The WRX will be powered by a revised version of the current model’s EJ25 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine, pumping out 195kW of power and 330Nm of torque – around the same as the outgoing model (195kW/343Nm).

The STI, on the other hand, will employ the same engine but with tweaks to bring its outputs to 224kW and 393Nm, making it marginally more powerful than the current STI (221kW) and putting its torque peak between the existing model’s two different outputs, depending on transmission (350Nm auto, 407Nm manual).

Naturally, Subaru will also differentiate the WRX from its more powerful STI brother via a more aggressive body kit, including a more prominent rear wing and wider body panels. More importantly, extra underbody rigidity enhancements will also lift the STI’s cornering ability to new levels.

In its wisdom, Subaru has decided to do away with the base WRX for Japan and Europe, which is where the Levorg comes in. The Levorg is a wagon concept that will also be unveiled on November 20 – at the Tokyo show.

In markets that get the WRX STI’s most powerful engine (Japan and Europe), the 243kW 2.0-litre boxer four (FA20DIT), Subaru has created a sports wagon to replace the aging WRX.

Company bosses felt that the brand needed an injection of something completely different and the Levorg is that car. It will be powered by an entry-level 1.6-litre turbocharged boxer engine producing 125kW/255Nm and the turbocharged 2.0-litre boxer generating 221kW/400Nm.  

Whether Australia will get the Levorg further down the road is still undecided. Subaru bosses in Japan know that Australia is one of its strongest markets with a client base that seems happy with the current range of products.

So for the time being at least, we can expect to see the WRX land in showrooms in March, with the STI following in May. Watch this space.

 

Show me what MRT can do for the current model Subaru WRX STi.

Researching parts upgrades for any model WRX STI, try here.

Words by Peter Lyon
From www.carsales.com.au

 

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Will there be an Evolution XI? Mitsubishi’s most senior executives are well aware of their all-wheel-drive turbo sedan’s icon status, but a replacement for the Evo X, introduced in Japan in 2007, isn’t going to happen any time soon. If it happens at all…

“We consider Evolution like Pajero,” says Ryugo Nakao, underlining the performance car’s importance in defining the company’s image. But Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s product project and strategy chief says the company has higher priorities at present. Its Tokyo motor show concepts signal a shift in focus to renewal of MMC’s key SUVs and the development of plug-in hybrid technology.

Both are Mitsubishi strengths, says Nakao. But the company lacks the resources to simultaneously develop a sports car and eco drivetrains at the same time. “Too difficult for a company of our size,” confirms MMC president Osamu Masuko. But Masuko says there is a possibility of a replacement for the Evo X, and he has clear ideas of what it should be.

The present Lancer is too large, he thinks, so the Evo XI would be smaller. And it would utilise the technology being developed for Mitsubishi’s near-future SUVs, previewed by the company’s Tokyo concepts. Both the Concept XR, which previews the next ASX due in 2015 or 2016, and Concept GC, which points to the shape of the fifth-generation Pajero, feature PHEV (for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) drivetrains.

There’s no doubt an Evo XI using such tech could deliver a proper performance jolt. Plug-in hybrids like the BMW i8 and super-exclusive Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1 are proving its ample potential.

With Mitsubishi working to bring down the cost of plug-in hybrid technology for its SUVs, the Evo XI could be one of the first to bring electro-exotic performance to market for a relatively affordable price. All they need to do is decide to build it…

 

The MRT online parts catalogue houses thousands and thousands of quality parts for anything from early model Evo I's right through to later model Australian delivered Evo X's.

MRT tune more Mitsubishi's than just the Evolution series. Check here to see more about Triton, Pajero and Challenger upgrades.

By John Carey
Wheels Magazine

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Toyota Motorsport Germany (TMG) is hard at work developing a rally-ready version of the 86 it says will be available to privateer rally customers in time for the 2015 season.

Appropriately dubbed TMG GT86 CS-R3, the modified 86 will be built according to R3 regulations meaning it will feature a six-speed sequential gearbox, limited slip differential, modified engine, adapted brakes and other upgrades. TMG has previously developed the CS-V3 version (pictured) of the 86 for race tracks. Building one for rally roads was a natural progression.

TMG’s engineers say the 86 rally car will be modified to "the maximum level permitted within the regulations", and will be eligible to participate in all FIA-sanctioned rallies, up to and including the World Rally Championship.

"Rallying is in our blood at TMG so it is very exciting to announce that we will be expanding our rally operations," said TMG's principal engineer of customer motorsport, Nico Ehlert.

"The GT86 CS-R3 promises to be a thrilling car on the rally stages; with rear-wheel drive we can expect some dramatic action which is sure to be entertaining for drivers and fans alike."

Full specifications and pricing will be announced in the coming months.
 
 As to whether the model would make it Down Under, TMCA (Toyota Motor Company Australia) says importation of the GT86 CS-R3 would remain a customer initiative.
 
 "In light of the success of the Toyota 86 globally and Australia's appetite for rally, we'll certainly be monitoring the development as it progresses, but have no plans to import the car, this would be up to private individuals," explained TMCA product PR manager, Steve Coughlan.
 
 "TMG  is yet to confirm the full specs, timing for deliveries and importantly pricing, so it's a little too early to predict the level of interest from such privateers."

 

Looking for an ECU retune and/or performance upgrades to get the most out of your Toyota 86?

Interested in getting a bit more serious with your 86/BRZ and want to see what a forced induction kit can do for you - dyno graph overlay comparison of turbo and supercharger kits here.


Article and image from www.carsales.com.au

 

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Unveiled overnight at the LA Motor show, the fourth-gen WRX ditches its existing 2.5-litre turbo as expected, favouring the 2.0-litre unit found in the Forester XT.

But while displacement has dropped, power is up — albeit modestly. The new Rex churns out 199kW/349Nm — a rise of 4kW/6Nm over the existing model.

Interestingly, despite the bump in grunt, word is the new WRX is actually slower to 100km/h, with Subaru failing to include acceleration times in its official data at launch.

Still, industry scuttlebutt suggests the new car will hit 0-100km/h in 5.6sec in six-speed manual guise, a drop of three-tenths.

Expect the auto to be even slower, with Subaru fitting the new WRX with a CVT transmission for the first time. Subaru says the new torque converter ’box, which boasts an eight-speed manual mode, ‘opens up a new audience for WRX’.

Underneath Subaru has fettled with the new car’s body and suspension to increase rigidity and stiffness, while overall weight is also down to improve handing.

Size wise the new WRX’s platform is extended by 25mm to provide greater rear passenger room, with all models getting a reverse camera as standard — another first for WRX.

All new WRX’s will be sold as sedans only in Australia, with the brand confirming the hatch, which accounted for around 18 per cent of local sales, has been ditched.

 

MRT has already begun developing parts for the new generation 2.0 litre engines and tuning solutions to suit. If you're thinking about buying a new WRX, contact MRT to discuss what OEM spec and aftermarket upgrades may suit you for your new car.

Once the car is released, MRT will tune the new generation WRX (and STi) with the world leading EcuTeK tuning software. Learn more here.

See MRT Power Kits for previous model Subarus.

Words by Alex Inwood
From Wheels Magazine

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ARC Update 2012 & plans for 2013

Following on our rally success in 2012 (for those that do't already know - we won the SUV Championship with a couple of rounds to go!) its to be expected that MRT will announce their complete 2013 plans shortly. What we can tell you here within our E-Magazine is that myself and Andrew Benefield will compete in the full 2013 Australian Rally Championship in our (unique) Subaru Turbo Diesel Forester. The aim is to win another SUV title to back up our 2012 win, as well as to continue to develop the Subaru diesel engine from a tuning perspective and the current generation Forester chassis from a suspension point of view.

What I ca't say right now is who will be partnering us with regard to corporate partners. As soon as this is finalised we will release that info here, to you, our valued customers and readers.

 

Hot Tuner Challenge

Well Motor Magazines annual Hot Tuner Challenge is done and dusted for the 2012 year. I think that's now four years in a row that MRT have competed, everyone one of them with at least one Subaru or more!

This year our faithful partner Troy Kelly and his MPS gen 2 came along for the ride, and MRT presented their new Subaru BRZ. Given the time constraints on taking delivery of the BRZ and getting it ready for the event I'd really like to thank all of our partnering suppliers and most of all my MRT Performance staff for all the extra time and effort they put into ensuring the car was in the best possible set up for the shoot out.

What a challenge it was!
Less than four weeks to prepare and test the BRZ was a tough ask, especially when the other shops had their Toyota's for weeks before us!

Our aim was always to deliver an outstanding overall package that displays the ability of MRT and our corporate partners. We certainly achieved that!

We will run a separate story for updates on this, as well as keep an eye on the growing list of videos here - https://www.youtube.com/user/Brettmiddleton

 

Reasearch and Development

The entire team has been working tirelessly to finish off final testing and begin production of a range of new parts, as well as the functionality of our E-Catalogue/Webstore so it makes it easy for you to locate all the latest and greatest parts for your car. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks as not only will we be launching more BRZ parts (a large portion of the items we ran on our car at HTC), we will also be activating some new advanced functions and features within the webstore.

The new EcuTeK Pro Cable has been an instant hit both here in Australia and worldwide. It now gives us the abilty to send you out a map for you to upload to your car, great if you want an EcuTeK tune but you're not within a reasonable driving distance of your local authorised outlet. Please note this does not apply to all EcuTek supported models. Please refer to our E-Catalogue to see if you vehicle is included.

For our Australian based readers, do't forget summer is coming. Now is a good time to check out the ever expanding range of MRT intercoolers.

 

That's it for this issue. Until next time, happy motoring and stay safe.

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McLaren has finally announced full performance figures for its new P1 flagship, and the numbers appear to warrant its standing as a bonafide hypercar that will take the fight to the Porsche 918 Spyder and upcoming Ferrari LaFerrari.

Naturally, it’s acceleration figures that will be front of mind for most potential buyers and enthusiasts, so we’ll end the suspense from the outset; the P1 dispatches the 0-100km/h dash in 2.8 seconds, while 200km/h is notched up in 6.8 seconds and 300km/h in 16.5 seconds.

Just to put these awe-inspiring numbers in perspective, consider that a Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 (hardly a slowcoach) takes 8.6 seconds to reach 200km/h and 24.5 seconds to hit 300 klicks.

In fact, the P1 isn’t too far adrift of the completely OTT Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which takes 6.7 seconds to attain 200km/h and 14.6 seconds to reach 300km/h.

However, the McLaren flagship concedes ground to the 431km/h Bugatti in the v-max stakes, as top speed is electronically limited to 350km/h.

The key to the P1’s electrifying performance is a hybrid powertrain that pairs an MP4-12C-derived 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 petrol engine with a lightweight electric motor for combined outputs of 674kW and 898Nm.

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Despite these impressive figures, the P1 is claimed to return fuel economy figures of just 8.3L/100km on the EU combined cycle, along with CO2 emissions of 194g/km. What’s more, the electric motor offers a range of 11km in full electric mode on the NEDC cycle, which sees emissions drop to zero.

The braking figures are equally eye-opening, with the bespoke Akebono system bringing the Mac to halt from 100km/h in just 2.9 seconds, while 300km/h is wiped off in a scarcely believable 6.2 seconds.

Meanwhile, the P1 notched up another milestone this week, as the first of the 375-car production run was delivered to its UK-based owner.

Vehicle No 1, finished in a striking Volcano Yellow and contrasting visual carbon-fibre, rolled off the bespoke production line at the end of September – a fitting tribute during the month of the 50th anniversary celebrations.

The P1 is custom-built by a carefully selected team of 82 technicians in a four-stage assembly process. From start to finish, the build takes 17 days of skilled work. Once running at full capacity, the P1 line will see one car completed each day, with production due to run until mid-2015.

Need some more grunt from your vehicle, try an MRT Power Kit, or browse through thousands of performance, suspension and brake components online.

Words by Gautam Sharma
www.carsales.com.au

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Nissan’s wild new Juke Nismo RS has been confirmed to make its world debut at the Los Angeles motor show on November 20.

First rumoured last year, the Juke Nismo RS will be positioned between the standard Juke Nismo (pictured in white) and the ferocious GT-R-powered limited-edition Juke R (pictured in black), although none of these high-performance Juke models have yet been confirmed for Australia.

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As we’ve reported, Nissan will launch the standard Juke in Australia in two weeks, priced from $21,990 for the entry-level Juke ST, powered by an 86kW/158Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine driving the front wheels and matched with a five-speed manual transmission or Nissan’s XTRONIC continuously variable CVT auto ($24,390).

The more powerful 140kW 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine from the Pulsar SSS will power the mid-range 2WD six-speed manual-only Juke ST-S ($28,390) and the range-topping Juke Ti-S, available only in AWD CVT auto guise for $32,190.

While the Juke Nismo features mostly cosmetic changes over the turbo Juke on which it’s based, Nissan has not revealed technical details of the Juke Nismo RS, which could offer up to 200kW – up from about 160kW in the Juke Nismo but a far cry from the Juke R’s 408kW 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6.

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It’s also not yet clear whether the Juke Nismo RS will be a six-speed manual or CVT auto model, but expect the most potent full-time production version of Nissan’s Micra-based city-crossover to come with all-wheel drive, as well as upgraded suspension, wheels, brakes and bodywork.

Organisers of the LA show have also revealed that Nissan will also stage the world debut of an unnamed Nismo concept next month, and both Nismo and Nismo RS versions of the LEAF, 370Z and GT-R are in development.

 

More info about what tuning solutions MRT can offer owners of the Nissan Juke can be found here.

More interested in Nissan GTR R35 power kit and tuning?

From www.carsales.com.au

Article by Marton Pettendy

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News of Nissan’s giant-killing GT-R going hybrid in its next generation raised plenty of eyebrows among sports car fans recently, but the electrified supercar is not the only Japanese performance hybrid in the works.

The Toyota Prius put hybrid cars on the map way back in 1997 and Japan’s biggest car-maker has launched more than a dozen petrol-electric vehicles since then.

Indeed, widespread deployment of hybrid drive technology is what most manufacturers are now undertaking to meet the more stringent emissions regulations and fuel consumption expectations of the motoring public, spelling hybrid power for everything from smallest hatches to the mightiest supercars.

In fact, as demonstrated by the Porsche 918 Spyder and LaFerrari hyper-hybrids, the only way to produce ever more powerful performance models that deliver acceptable emissions levels is to hybridise them.

Now, with hybrids getting known not just for their fuel-saving abilities but also their performance-enhancing traits, Japanese car-makers Honda, Mazda and Subaru are getting in on the hybrid act with high-performance models in the pipeline, as these renderings from Japan’s Best Car magazine suggest.

The first kid on Japan’s high performance hybrid block will be Honda’s Jazz Hybrid Type R.

Motoring.com.au understands Honda engineers are currently finalising details for a hybrid version of the new Jazz that would boost total power to an impressive 140kW (up from 80kW in the standard 1.5-litre Jazz RS model upon which it’s based) while returning fuel consumption of 3.6L/100km.

Honda’s first hybrid Type R will be fitted with the same seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) seen in the upcoming Jazz Hybrid and will employ specially tuned suspension.

Slated for a 2015 debut, the Jazz Type R should start at around $25,000 – just a few thousand dollars more than the existing Jazz Hybrid.

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Mazda will also enter the hybrid fray with its Mazda3 Hybrid. Based on the new-generation Mazda3 due here in a few months &, the electrified Mazda3 will combine a Toyota-sourced hybrid system from the Prius with a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine to deliver total power output of around 221kW (300hp) and 392Nm of torque.

While that should be enough for the Mazda3 Hybrid to wear an MPS badge, fuel economy will remain at a frugal 5.0L/100km. However, Mazda has so far committed to releasing its first hybrid model by the end of this year only in Japan, where it should be priced around the Australian equivalent of about $30,000.

Meantime at Subaru, the new WRX line-up due here in March following its LA motor show debut next month will be crowned by the 220kW-plus WRX STI due in late 2014, but Subaru has something else on the table -- a WRX Hybrid.

As we’ve seen with the BRZ and Toyota 86 joint-venture sports cars, Subaru has a strong relationship with Toyota and has no doubt borrowed some hybrid technology from its sizeable partner. But the hybrid system Subaru will use for its ground-breaking WRX Hybrid comes straight from its big-selling (in Japan) XV Hybrid, which was developed in-house after over a decade of research in the Tochigi R&D centre.

To be initially fitted to the WRX and later to the Liberty, Subaru’s 2.0-litre boxer-powered hybrid system will also employ a turbocharger to generate total power of more than 220kW and 387Nm of torque.

This is a combination that Subaru fans worldwide have been waiting for; loads of performance (in this case from a powerful turbo-petrol and electric drivetrain) that also delivers fuel consumption of around 5.5L/100km -- something that has eluded boxer engines up until now.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Expect more performance hybrids, combining the torque of turbo-petrol engines and electric motors, from other Japanese manufacturers like Toyota and Nissan in the near future.


MRT Power Kits for current and previous model Mazda MPS and Subaru WRX.

Search through thousands of upgrade parts here.

To learn more about the various model Mazda MPS and Subaru WRX, check out our YouTube channel.

 

From www.carsales.com.au

By Peter Lyon

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Records were not the only thing smashed at the fourth -- and by far the largest -- running of the Yokohama World Time Attack at Sydney Motorsport Park on the weekend.

After the threat of bushfires on Thursday and spectacular drifting events on Friday and Saturday nights, followed by the Flying 500, all eyes were on V8 Supercar driver Warren Luff and the Nemo Racing Evo Lancer he was piloting.

The competition came from far and wide. From Japan came entrants such Scorch Racing with its Nissan 200SX, Top Fuel with its Honda S2000, RE Amemyia with its Mazda RX-7 and Esprit with its Honda NSX.

Greece sent a duo of Evo Lancers entered by Simply Racing and from the US came AMB Aero with its Mitsubishi Eclipse.

And then there was local competition such as Pulse Racing, Dominator and Tilton Interiors, all running the proven Evo Lancer platform, MCA Suspension in a Nissan S13 Silvia and Prep’d Motorsports in a heavily modified Lotus Exige -- just to name a few.

But could anyone dethrone the monstrous time set the year before by the local, and would any of the international drivers exact revenge this year?

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Those questions were answered a lot sooner than expected. In Friday’s first official practice, Tilton Interiors’ local entrant Garth Walden managed to set a blistering time in the second session of 1:24.855, which nobody saw coming.

Clearly all the pre-season development put into the Tilton Interiors' car -- including being shipped to Japan for wind tunnel testing and a new aero package -- had paid off.

To put this into perspective, despite regulations restricting all WTAC cars to street-legal semi-competition tyres such as the Yokohama AD050R, Walden’s time was better than the benchmarks set by racing machines on full slick tyres, including the Radical SR8 (1:25.703), Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 GT3 (1:28.057) and even a V8 Supercar (1:31.730).

The two-day event was not without mishap. With drivers pushing their cars to the absolute limit, the first to go was the Gorilla Motorsports Toyota Supra, which smashed into a concrete barrier. Later in the day one of the Turbo Legends, an MG Metro 6R4 World Rally Car, burst into flames and then on Saturday the RTR Evo X fell to a similar fate as the Gorilla Supra.

So this year’s World Time Attack had it all -- record crowds, great racing, daring drifting, spectacular crashes and a new record. Stand by for the 2014 event.

Images: www.worldtimeattack.com
Words by Shaun Wilton, www.carsales.com.au

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SUBARU will discontinue the seven-seat Tribeca SUV early next year, with declining sales in its US key market blamed for its demise.

An official statement from Japanese parent company Fuji Heavy Industries confirmed that production at Subaru’s Lafayette, Indiana factory is set to cease in January 2014, with final deliveries to US dealerships set for February.

Subaru Australia national corporate affairs manager David Rowley confirmed Australian deliveries to dealers would cease in early 2014.

The statement from Subaru said there was no information or launch schedule for a possible Tribeca replacement, but that a new seven-seater was in the company’ s future product plan.

“In the US Subaru plans to return to the mid-size SUV segment with a three-row vehicle in the future. Regarding the launch to other markets, Subaru will consider the feasibility,” the statement said.

Despite the end of Tribeca production at the Indiana plant, Subaru confirmed earlier this year that it would expand its production capacity by manufacturing the Impreza small car from 2016 alongside the Outback and Legacy (Liberty) that are already manufactured there.

When the Tribeca launched in Australia in November 2006, it was met with a mixed response from critics and the public, thanks to its unusual exterior design that featured an aeronautical-themed front end with a wing-like grille and high-set oval-shaped headlights.

Sales didn’t meet expectations, particularly in the US. Subaru acted quickly to rectify the situation by launching a facelifted version just 12 months later with a more conservative and palatable design.

The Tribeca has remained a relatively slow seller for Subaru in the US, with 1247 units sold in the first nine months of 2013 compared to its Outback sibling that has sold 90,073 in the same period.

Subaru Australia has notched up 540 units to the end of September, averaging around 60 sales a month. Last year it sold 1326 Tribecas, an average of around 110 cars per month.

While not huge numbers when compared to segment leaders such as the Toyota Prado with 11,359 sales or the Ford Territory on 10,439 units from January to September, or even Subaru’s biggest seller, the Forester SUV on 10,131 sales, it represents a decent result for a vehicle that has not been strongly promoted by Subaru.

Currently, the Tribeca is sold locally in one specification only – 3.6R Premium – for $54,990 plus on-road costs. This puts it in direct competition with the mid-spec Toyota Kluger, Mazda CX-9 and Jeep Grand Cherokee or the flagship Ford Territory Titanium.

The smaller Liberty Exiga wagon which is offered in two variants - 2.5i from $37,990 and 2.5i Premium from $42,490 - will become Subaru’s sole seven-seat option when the Tribeca finally departs, with the Liberty wagon, Outback crossover and Forester SUV all five-seat only options.

Looking for service items, brake parts or suspension upgrades for your Tribeca?

Article by Tim Nicholson - www.goauto.com.au

 

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It’s no exaggeration to say the 86, Australia’s top-selling sports car, has single-handedly succeeded in injecting some sparkle into Toyota’s lacklustre line-up.

And, according to a source close to Toyota, there’s plenty more where that came from.

That’s right folks, the 86 family is about to grow -- and in a big way. When the 86 landed in showrooms last year, we were told of other iterations including a soft-top, a sedan and a shooting brake (sports wagon). Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada even mentioned as much in his blog.

Well, although the 86 convertible concept has apparently stalled, our insider now tells us the green light has been given for an 86-based sedan.

The soft-top 86 roadster concept was unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March, but there is still no word from Toyota -- or our insider, for that matter -- as to when we might see that car on the road.

What we can tell you is that an 86-based sedan, similar to the one rendered here by Japan’s Holiday Auto magazine, is on the way and may even beat the soft-top into showrooms.

According to our source, the new sports sedan will target 40-something buyers who honed their driving skills in cars like the rear-wheel drive Corolla AE86, Nissan Silvia (180SX and 200SX), Mazda RX-8 or Honda S2000.

Employing a wheelbase that’s 100mm longer than that of the current 86, the new sedan will feature what Toyota calls a “keen-look” grille design that appears to replicate the shape of a Japanese ‘katana’ Samurai sword.

In addition to the base model’s Subaru-sourced 147kW 2.0-litre boxer powertrain, the as-yet-unnamed 86 sedan will also offer a next-generation hybrid system.

Strategically differentiated from the Toyota’s current Hybrid Synergy Drive system, the new ‘Hybrid R’ sports hybrid system will incorporate a one-motor parallel drive set-up that generates up to 200kW while achieving 10-15 per cent better fuel economy.

While Hybrid R details are still sketchy, our insider suggests the new system – as revealed in the 300kW Yaris Hybrid-R concept at Frankfurt -- will employ F1-style KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) technology that can recover the car’s kinetic energy under braking.

While we will not see this concept at next month’s Tokyo motor show, we hear strong rumours that it will make an appearance at next year’s Geneva show.

Expect to see Toyota’s all-new rear-drive compact sports sedan hit showrooms from late 2015 through to early 2016, priced not far from the sub-$30K 86.

Unfortunately, our sources tell us we won’t get a look at the jointly developed Toyota-BMW sports car at the Tokyo show either, with the Geneva show in March 2014 now looking more likely.


Browse dozens of brands and thousands of parts for your 86/FR-S/BRZ here.

MRT Power Kits just for your Toyota 86 - show me now.

Dyno graphs of a turbocharger kit versus a supercharger kit as fitted to an 86!

Illustration: Holiday auto magazine
Words by Peter Lyon., from www.carsales.com.au

 

Leading tyre maker Kumho has renewed its ongoing commitment with one of Australia’s most respected and recognised charities, the McGrath Foundation.

Since October 2009 Kumho has donated more than $400,000 to the McGrath Foundation to support its aims of funding McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia as well as increasing breast awareness for young Australians.

Kumho will donate a further $100,000 over the coming year – taking the total it has donated to  the Foundation to an impressive half a million dollars.

According to national marketing and training manager at Kumho Tyre Australia, David Basha, the association with the McGrath Foundation is a significant one for Kumho.

“Kumho is incredibly proud to be a Corporate Friend of the McGrath Foundation because of the key role it plays in supporting families experiencing breast cancer as well as increasing breast awareness right across the community,” said David Basha.

“As a global company Kumho is committed to community involvement, and supporting the McGrath Foundation is just one demonstration of Kumho giving something back to the community.”

In addition to the annual $100,000 donation, Kumho also stages Pink Fitters Day where thousands of tyre dealers all around Australia wear pink shirts to raise further funds and awareness for the McGrath Foundation. Kumho hopes the 2014 Pink Fitters Day will generate in excess of $25,000.

McGrath Foundation ambassador and director, Tracy Bevan, says the McGrath Foundation is grateful for the continued support of Kumho Tyre Australia since 2009.

“Over the last few years, Kumho has been a significant supporter of the McGrath Foundation, and we look forward to continuing our Corporate Friendship for at least another year. Kumho’s ongoing support means a great deal to the McGrath Foundation,” said Tracy.

“Each year, we love seeing tyre dealers around the country embracing Pink Fitters Day and showing that it takes a real man to wear pink!

“The support of companies like Kumho has enabled us to greatly increase the number of McGrath Breast Care Nurses working in Australian communities. Just five years ago, we had four McGrath Breast Care Nurses, but today we’re proud to have 85 McGrath Breast Care Nurses nationally, who have supported over 21,000 Australian families experiencing breast cancer,” she added.

Article from www.kumho.com.au

Find out more about the partnership between MRT, Kumho and the McGrath Foundation.

Watch Kumho tyres helping keep the MRT turbo diesel Forester in action.

mrtforesterkumhomcgrath

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Subaru Australia will launch the all-new WRX Down Under to coincide with the iconic rally rocket's 20th anniversary. First launched in Australia in March 1994, more than 42,000 WRXs have found homes locally. The all-new MY2014 car will arrive in time to celebrate the anniversary with a higher price-tag but performance, equipment and refinement gains to sweeten the offer.

Subaru Australia boss, Nick Senior, outlined the timetable for the new WRX's arrival in Melbourne yesterday. Although he would not be drawn on specific dates or details, he confirmed the car would be on sale before the end of the first quarter of 2014.

The all-new car is charged with the task of bringing new blood to the brand... And without alienating existing customers, says Senior.

"I think the real DNA of WRX over the time has been its driving credentials, and I know certainly from the factory point of view, the driving experience of the new WRX was paramount... I've had the opportunity to drive it and I think it will not disappoint any of those existing customers. [But] I think it will appeal to new customers because of the changes that they've made... Everyone's conscious that we need to widen the appeal [of the WRX], and I'm certain that this car is going to hit the mark," he said.

The all-new WRX is expected to make its world debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show next month. Higher in content and with a better quality cabin and significant extra equipment, Senior hinted the new WRX will be more expensive than the $40K price point the model has 'inhabited' almost since its 1994 launch

"We launched it [WRX] at $39,990, 20 years ago. It's [still] $39,990 today – it's an incredible value for money [story]. But there's no doubt there's going to be substantially more kick, equipment and technology, in the new car.

"We've still got – fortunately – six or seven months, and we do't need to lock away pricing just yet. As always it'll be a strong Subaru value-for-money [story], but I think we've got to realise that there's a fair amount of kit that's going to be added to this car," Senior cautioned.

"Certainly no one wants to dumb down the WRX in terms of its performance edge, [but] I think, as a package, it is a car that is going, in every element, to appeal to a wider audience. It's our job to get that message across," Senior told motoring.com.au.

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The local Subaru boss also confirmed that an even more expensive and higher performance STI version would follow the new WRX – in part killing suggestions that the new car would move far enough upmarket to kill off the performance variant.

In the past the gaps between the releases have been up to 18 months. Says Senior, this time the new STI version will hit showrooms closer to its partner.

"Traditionally it's been a bit of a gap, but I expect a lot less of a gap this time – probably only a couple of months at the most."

Senior stated Subaru would not follow the BRZ web-only sales strategy with the new WRX. Indeed, he hinted that as supply for the rear-drive two-door has started to free-up, the company may rethink the exclusively online sales channel.

"Bearing in mind one of the primary reasons for doing the online strategy was to help us manage the extremely short supply, initially, and also to give us a bit of an understanding how all that worked, [we may make changes]," he explained.

"We will probably still continue the BRZ online, but have a look at about whether we should open it up to the network.

"What I do't want to see, now that we are potentially able to get a few more cars, is that [we miss out on sales] if someone's sees an 86 in the Toyota and they can get it straight away," Senior stated.

Own a current or previous model WRX?

Click here to view thousands of parts available for shipping or fitment right now. Just enter your year, make and model.

If you're thinking of trying to get some more usuable power out of your WRX - take a look at an EcuTeK solution now.

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Article as found at www.carsales.com.au

By Mike Sinclair

ARC Update 2012 & plans for 2013

Following on our rally success in 2012 (for those that do't already know - we won the SUV Championship with a couple of rounds to go!) its to be expected that MRT will announce their complete 2013 plans shortly. What we can tell you here within our E-Magazine is that myself and Andrew Benefield will compete in the full 2013 Australian Rally Championship in our (unique) Subaru Turbo Diesel Forester. The aim is to win another SUV title to back up our 2012 win, as well as to continue to develop the Subaru diesel engine from a tuning perspective and the current generation Forester chassis from a suspension point of view.

What I ca't say right now is who will be partnering us with regard to corporate partners. As soon as this is finalised we will release that info here, to you, our valued customers and readers.

 

Hot Tuner Challenge

Well Motor Magazines annual Hot Tuner Challenge is done and dusted for the 2012 year. I think that's now four years in a row that MRT have competed, everyone one of them with at least one Subaru or more!

This year our faithful partner Troy Kelly and his MPS gen 2 came along for the ride, and MRT presented their new Subaru BRZ. Given the time constraints on taking delivery of the BRZ and getting it ready for the event I'd really like to thank all of our partnering suppliers and most of all my MRT Performance staff for all the extra time and effort they put into ensuring the car was in the best possible set up for the shoot out.

What a challenge it was!
Less than four weeks to prepare and test the BRZ was a tough ask, especially when the other shops had their Toyota's for weeks before us!

Our aim was always to deliver an outstanding overall package that displays the ability of MRT and our corporate partners. We certainly achieved that!

We will run a separate story for updates on this, as well as keep an eye on the growing list of videos here - https://www.youtube.com/user/Brettmiddleton

 

Reasearch and Development

The entire team has been working tirelessly to finish off final testing and begin production of a range of new parts, as well as the functionality of our E-Catalogue/Webstore so it makes it easy for you to locate all the latest and greatest parts for your car. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks as not only will we be launching more BRZ parts (a large portion of the items we ran on our car at HTC), we will also be activating some new advanced functions and features within the webstore.

The new EcuTeK Pro Cable has been an instant hit both here in Australia and worldwide. It now gives us the abilty to send you out a map for you to upload to your car, great if you want an EcuTeK tune but you're not within a reasonable driving distance of your local authorised outlet. Please note this does not apply to all EcuTek supported models. Please refer to our E-Catalogue to see if you vehicle is included.

For our Australian based readers, do't forget summer is coming. Now is a good time to check out the ever expanding range of MRT intercoolers.

 

That's it for this issue. Until next time, happy motoring and stay safe.

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Kellys ship V8 to Japan as Nissan factory motorsport division told to make engine a front-runner.

One of Nissa's most senior global executives has ordered the official Nismo motorsport division to make the engine powering the Altima V8 Supercar more competitive against its rivals.

As a result an example of the VK56DE engine is on its way from Nissan Motorsport in Melbourne to Nismo global HQ in Yokohama, Japan.

The directive to Nismo came from Briton Andy Palmer, a Nissan executive vice president with a variety of responsibilities including global product planning.

His decision to get Nismo more deeply involved was confirmed to motoring.com.au at the Frankfurt motor show by Simon Sproule, Nissa's corporate vice president in charge of global marketing communications and motorsport.

"Andy has told Nismo 'this is your responsibility to get this fixed'... these car carry Nismo badging on the side and he told Nismo in Japan 'you make this car competitive'," Sproule said.

"Let's be very clear," he added, "if it has got Nismo on the side of it, wherever it races, Nismo in Japan has the responsibility to make sure it performs.

"It is very clear instruction from Andy. If Nismo is on the side of the car it does't matter where it races or who is racing it. It is our engine so they [Nismo] have to up their game and they know that."

Development of the production-based 5.0-litre version of the VK56DE engine for the fac-tory-backed Nissan Altima V8 Supercars attack has so far primarily been the responsibility of Nissan Motorsport (nee Kelly Racing). Nismo has provided some guidance to the effort, but so far there has been no performance breakthrough.

The multi-valve Nissan engine has struggled to match the existing Ford and GM pushrod racing engines for both power and economy.

The 5.0-litre version of the AMG M159 engine developed by Erebus Motorsport in co-operation with HWA in Germany has suffered similar issues, but is believed to now pro-duce more competitive power.

Nismo's emphasis is on improving top speed for the engine, which was clearly deficient at the Wilson Security Sandown 500, where Nissan Motorsport technical director, team co-owner and driver Todd Kelly finished 11th with co-driver David Russell and best of the Nissans in their Jack Daniel's Altima.

Fuel economy also hurt both the Nissan and Benz engines at Sandown, a problem that V8 Supercars tried to assist them with by mandating a minimum four stops for all cars, after a proposal to give the multi-valve a more economic E70 ethanol fuel was canned.

Kelly said the team was delighted that Nissan and Nismo was getting more deeply in-volved in the engine development program.

"It is a really logical next step for them to take an engine and have a play with it," said Kelly. "They can analyse it a lot more accurately with their equipment and hopefully something comes of it.

"Everyone here is really rapt internally that we have been able to take it to that next level.

"They [Nismo] came over for the grand prix and we have had countless teleconferences and there are email trails on the different issues we have had with the engine and we have tried their components on the dyno, unfortunately not with any success."

Kelly said that long lead times meant any significant engine performance gains made by Nismo would probably take until the 2014 season to implement.

"Even if you think we have plenty of time before Clipsal next year, to go through that proc-ess and implement specification changes, the lead time on that stuff is huge so we are pushing pretty hard."

Sproule stressed that Nismo's increased engine development did not reflect on the efforts put in by Kelly Racing.

"I think objectively first season out the Kellys have done a very creditable job," he said.

"The program was done in a fairly compressed time frame and like most new race teams you do't really know until you stick the thing on the track and it starts running in anger.

"It's only when you ... start to see the performance and Kelly told us 'there are the issues we have got with the engine', the most notable being the outright top speed."

Sproule said he was confident the VK engine would be turned into a competitive package.

"The engine is a race-winning engine and we know that from Super GT and we know that from Le Mans," he said. "So the engine is not the question. It's just in that racing series, which we have never done before, in that competitive set, clearly we have a performance gap and we have got to fix it.

"For us it is a relatively simple black and white situation."

 

Whilst we do't build Nissan V8SC engines, we can offer plenty of tuning solutions for select Nissan models. As well as numerous braking and handling upgrades.

Words - Bruce Newton, from www.carsales.com.au

 

Volkswage's assault on carbon emissions will see the introduction of a 10-speed DSG.

Volkswagen is currently testing a 10-speed automatic DSG (direct shift gearbox) for use in cars such as the Golf and Polo, in a bid to further reduce fleet wide CO2 emissions.

Volkswagen Group's Powertrain Development boss, Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, explained that all brands under the VW Group umbrella – such as Audi, Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda – will adopt smaller engines, to be paired with advanced twin-clutch automatic transmissions.

"We will have more downsizing, we will have more three-cylinder [engines], diesel technology will be improved for four and three-cylinders.

"From the transmission side, we will stay with DSG technology, but we will improve it and we will have more gears, 10-gears," said Neusser.

The straight-talking VW Group powertrain supremo said the new 10-speed DSGs will be offered to customers "in a few years" and said that prototypes are already undergoing testing.

"We have cars already running with this [10-speed gearbox]," he said, and it's now expected we'll see their deployment in 2016.

Volkswagen announced it was developing a 10-speed DSG in April, and joins the likes of General Motors, Ford and Hyundai in offering customers 10-speed automatic transmissions.

Volkswagen currently offers six- and seven-speed DSG transmissions.

Jeep's new nine-speed auto-equipped Cherokee SUV and the updated Range Rover Evoque will be the first of the new wave of vehicles to offer high-numbered gearboxes in Australia, both arriving locally in early 2014.

As Dr Neusser explained, its new 10-speed DSG could be considered a six- or seven-speed unit, because the first two gears are effectively combined, while ninth and tenth gears are simply overdrive ratios for saving fuel at highway speeds.

"It could have been nine or 11, but we said 10 because then we have two more gears for take-off, a short first gear and a simultaneous second gear, a blending of the clutches. That makes for more take-off performance. We have higher gear ratios for lower fuel consumption," he clarified.

Stricter European limits on fleet wide CO2 emissions are forcing car makers to come up with new solutions to make their vehicles greener, and Volkswage's 10-speed gearbox will help the company meet European legislation that requires fleet-average CO2 emissions of 95g/km or less by 2020.

As a guide, the Toyota Prius hybrid's CO2 emissions are rated at 89g/km, while a V6 Commodore Evoke emits 198g/km.

For the foreseeable future petrol and diesel cars will still make up the majority of new cars globally, with hybrids expected to make an impact on mainstream buying trends towards the end of the decade.

Volkswagen signalled its intent to be the world leader in zero emission electric cars by 2018 at the Frankfurt motor show, but is looking at numerous approaches to improve the efficiency of its combustion engine-powered vehicles, not just advanced gearboxes.

"We will pull a minimum of 60kg out of all new models when we come to the successor," said Neusser of all new models, with some cars shedding up to 100kg.

"Air resistance? We will have in future more optimised cars with flat underbodies, improved shapes. Rolling resistance [will improve] too," he said, highlighting the lessons learned from the exotic XL1 hybrid car (pictured).

Dr Neusser also confirmed that the company's new MQB platform the current seventh generation Golf sits on will streamline the 'greening' of the Volkswagen Group's fleet, as it will underpin the majority of the company's cars in five year's time.

"All of these measures are combined in the new MQB platform and we can then directly influence the total CO2 of the fleet group, because nearly 80 per cent of all brands in 2018 are using the MQB platform. It's the easiest way," Neusser concluded.

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MRT now has the means to offer ECU tuning for a range of European model cars. Visit here to see if your car is on that list.

If you're looking for some handling upgrades or braking ability increases, try our parts finder.

Words: Feann Torr
www.motoring.com.au

 

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Nismo, Williams and new development team to take Japan’s finest supercar to a whole new level.

In late June, the Formula One and sports car world was rocked by news of an unlikely industrial collaboration: Nine-times F1 constructor’s champion Williams and Nissan’s tuning arm Nismo announced they will join forces to build fast road cars.

Using their specialist expertise in aerodynamics, simulation and material science, Williams Advanced Engineering will tie-up with Nismo to create future road cars for launch worldwide starting from 2014.

Nismo, which also runs Nissan’s global racing program, also has stellar racing credentials, having won the 2011 FIA GT1 drivers and teams titles in the GT-R, as well as last year’s Super GT championships in Japan.

“Williams have a proven history of making racing technology benefit road cars, and so do we,” said Nismo President Shoichi Miyatani.

This, potentially, could be great news for sports cars lovers as Williams has an impressive heritage of involvement in fast road cars, from the Clio Williams of 1993 to last year's hybrid Jaguar C-X75.

Readers who keep a close eye on developments at Germany’s famed Nurburgring will remember that a heavily tuned and camouflaged Nissan GT-R Nismo was spotted testing earlier this month.

But while that car will debut at November’s Tokyo motor show, it won’t feature any work done by Williams.

Not yet at least. In collaboration with Williams Hybrid Power (WHP), creators of the electromechanical composite flywheel system now used by Porsche and Audi, Nismo will increase the GT-R’s power and fuel economy by fitting this state-of-the-art technology in addition to specialised aero parts and materials to a model due out as early as 2015.

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In other GT-R news, 2011 FIA GT1 champion and 2012 Japan Super GT winner Michael Krumm has replaced test drive meister Toshio Suzuki as development driver for the GT-R (R35) program.

Suzuki was behind the wheel of the GT-R that posted a blistering 7:18.6 lap time around the Nurburgring. Until the Porsche 918 Spyder set a blistering 6:57 lap, the GT-R was the second most rapid mass-produced road cars at the ‘Ring, just behind the Dodge Viper ACR.
 
That is of course after Mr GT-R, Kazutoshi Mizuno, the man who spent a decade of his life devoted to building Japan’s best ever supercar, resigned and was replaced with former GT-R R34 senior engineer Hiroshi Tamura earlier this year. From a personal point of view, this writer was sad to see Mizuno leave the GT-R stage as he was one of the last great characters of Japan’s car industry.
 
We’re told Mizuno had reached mandatory retirement age, but we have also heard rumours that he was not happy that his GT-R was to be Nismo-cized, taking the car in a different direction to the “supercar for the average man” image that he had championed for so long.

Whatever the reasons for Mizuno-san’s departure, expect to see the GT-R get lighter, quicker, faster and more fuel efficient over the next few years.

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Interested in what MRT can offer for the already brilliant R35 GTR?

Looking for parts for an older model GTR, or perhaps another Nissan model?

As seen at www.motoring.com.au
Words by Peter Lyon

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Google Maps car collides with two cars after fleeing from another accident

An Indonesian man who was driving a Subaru hatchback fitted out with Google Maps equipment has been apprehended by Indonesian police after leaving the scene of an accident and then slamming into two other cars.

The man was driving the Google Maps car through Bogor, near the capital of Jakarta last Wednesday, when he collided with a minivan.

Bogor district police operations chief Hendra Gunawan said the man did stop to assist the driver but quickly escaped as he was concerned about potential repercussions.

"He did accompany the minivan driver to the garage, but he said he was scared the repair fee would be high, so he got in his damaged car and fled." Said Gunawan.

A three kilometre chase then ensued as the owner of the minivan attempted to corner the Subaru, at which point the Google driver slammed into a second minivan and a parked truck. He was finally arrested by police and taken for questioning.

The man was released shortly after and has been required to pay for the repairs of all the damaged vehicles. Gunawan said the bill for the first vehicle in the trio was a paltry 200,000 rupiah, or $19 Australian.

If this is the standard of driver Google is recruiting, perhaps its time to test its driverless car technology? Which, ironically, is expected to make use of Google Maps technology to enable improved autonomous vehicle navigation.

This is not the first instance where Google has found itself in hot water thanks to Street View, after the technology has been derided for breaching people's privacy throughout the world.

Earlier in 2013 Google was fined $US7 million by US authorities for recording citizens' personal data, namely photos, without permission. In Germany a woman was snapped whilst giving birth on a footpath just outside Berlin and some organisations have requested that their premises are blurred in photos published online.

 

If you've had an unfortunate incident in your Subaru, just like the story above, then check out our online catalogue. We can source and supply just about any Subaru Genuine part as well as supply you with hundreds of thousands of quality aftermarket items should you decide to upgrade at the time of repair.

Story - Matt Calvitto, www.carsales.com.au

 

Mazda will use a new smaller SKYACTIV-D turbo-diesel to power a range of new variants and help build sales in the all-important European marketplace.

The new engine displaces 1.5 litres and features Mazda’s latest high-rpm, low-compression SKYACTIV-D turbo-diesel technology. It joins the company’s 2.2-litre powertrain and promises to deliver outstanding economy and at least class comparable performance when it arrives in 2014.

The new engine will debut in European versions of the new generation Mazda3, but it is also expected to be offered in the CX-5 in both all-wheel and front-wheel drive versions. Just how soon the engine will be launched (and whether it will come Down Under) is still not clear.

Mazda is yet to finalise outputs for the new powerplant, but motoring.com.au was told the power and torque benchmarks for the engine were a step above Volkwagen’s latest 1.6-litre turbo-diesel. That engine is available in a range of power outputs from 65 to 82kW and maximum torque levels of around 250Nm.

Our Mazda insider suggests top performance figures for the 1.5 SKYACTIV-D will be in the region of 90kW/320Nm. He stresses, however, that Mazda’s aim is to emulate the free-revving characteristics of its large SKYACTIV-D turbo-diesel rather than the low-rev torque peak the VW TDI engines deliver.

Mazda’s lack of a smaller diesel has hamstrung it in some European markets where engines are taxed on capacity as well as, or instead of, CO2 outputs. There is also a perception in Europe that a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel is too large for a car like the Mazda3.

Locally of more interest will be the fact Mazda will match the smaller turbo-diesel with a six-speed automatic transmission. To date the Mazda3 Diesel has only been offered in a manual variant.

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If you're looking to modify the performance of your late model Mazda, click here to see what we can offer you.

Learn more about the EcuTeK, the best tuning option around for slected late model Mazda engines.

Words by Mike Sinclair, from www.motoring.com.au

 

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This is a scary statistic – just three percent of the drivers teaching L-platers in NSW would pass a driving test, according to the NRMA.

The eye-opening stat comes from a new study of 624 supervising drivers, which asked them to complete a 16 question online road rules test similar to the Driver Knowledge Test prospective L-Platers must pass to their licence.

Shockingly just 18 of the 624 managed to pass, with the average score being nine out of 16.

A score of 15 was needed to pass.

"The average score of 9 out of 16 indicated parents and supervisors needed a better knowledge of road rules before getting into a car with a learner driver," said NRMA Wendy Machin.

"Young drivers pick up on the driving habits of their supervisors - both good and bad - and this means taking time to prepare before getting in the car."

 

Want some track driving instruction and a day of off street fun?

From Wheels Magazine

Toyota has bolted a Torsen limited-slip differential into the rear of the 86 GT sports car with automatic transmission.

Adding $300 to the purchase price of that particular variant means at least that the entry-level auto model can now match every other model in the range for traction.

The upgraded specification for the 86 GT auto is one of  two running changes introduced to the 86 range; the other improvement being a standard rear spoiler for 86 models in the GTS level of trim – adding $500 to the purchase price of those variants.

The good news for buyers on a budget is that the entry-level 86 GT with manual transmission remains priced just below $30,000.

To date Toyota Australia has sold 4800 units of the diminutive sports car, despite supply constraints since the car's launch here. While the 86 has been a break-out hit for Toyota – both around the world and locally – the two changes broaden the car's appeal and address feedback from the public.

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According to Toyota, the LSD ensures the automatic GT boasts the same dynamic properties as every other model in the range, and the rear spoiler serves to further distinguish the GTS from the cheaper GT models.

Toyota 86 pricing:
GT manual – $29,990 (no change)
GT auto – $32,790 (+$300)
GTS manual – $35,990 (+$500)
GTS auto – $38,490 (+$500)

Options (no change):
Metallic paint: $425
Aero pack: $3,000 (GTS only)

 

Interested in what MRT can offer for the BRZ/86 twins?

Want to see a dyno graph comparing forced induction kits (turbocarger vs supercharger)?

98RON vs E85 in a turbocharged Toyota 86.

Story reproduced from www.motoring.com.au

 

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Kumho has gone all-out with its new Ecsta PS91 ultra high performance tyre to create what it describes as the “most advanced tyre it has ever produced”

Designed for top-end performance cars such as the Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Aventador, Porsche Carrera, AMG C63 and Audi R8, the Ecsta PS91 was developed with a brief “to hold nothing back and create the ultimate super high performance road tyre.”

The tyres uses the latest generation silica compound, while employing newly developed “dimple” technology to dissipate heat and cool the tread. Ecsta PS91 tyres also use sidewalls and tread blocks that are “stiffer than conventional Ultra - High Performance tyres” to handle the high stress loads.

The new Kumhos also have different tread patterns at front and rear to cope with the differing requirements. Kumho says “The front tyres have been designed to provide the most agile cornering and cope with the sudden forces of braking while the rear tread optimises drive off turns.”

According to Kumho Tyre Australia national marketing and training manager David Basha, the new tyre is a result of “the direct application of motor sport technology”.

Kumho is tyre provider for events such as the Auto GP, the French Formula 4 series, Masters of Formula 3, China Touring Car Championship and Germany's VLN endurance series. In Australia, it is the sole tyre supplier to the Kumho V8 Touring Cars series, Formula 3 championship and the Australia Rally Championship.

 

MRT's preferred choice of tyre is Kumho. We currently run them on our development Mitsubishi Evo X, Subaru BRZ and Brett's Subaru diesel turbo rally Forester just to name a few.

As found at www.carsales.com.au

 

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Subaru has responded to customer demand for a tougher looking Outback model with its 2014 model year upgrade.

A raft of new or revised features are introduced for the updated model and include: roof rails with integrated cross bars, protective cladding for the side sills, wheel arch extensions, underbody protection, front mud flaps, a dark grey radiator grille, grey alloy wheels and headlights with a black background.

Subaru claims that the new features add $2500 worth of value, but the price of the updated Outback has risen by just $500. Buyers can opt to order the Outback without the wheel arch extensions, underbody protection and the front mud flaps.

"We've had a lot of customer feedback suggesting owners would like a slightly tougher-looking Outback with greater body protection, which is especially useful on rural roads where this wagon rates highly," said Nick Senior, MD of Subaru Australia.

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"These MY14 upgrades deliver on both fronts and will help maintain Outback's profile as one of the most versatile and capable wagons on Australian roads.

"The introduction of the diesel auto variant earlier this year combined with these latest changes highlights our long-term commitment to refining and enhancing our cars with the passing of each model year, in line with our All 4 the Driver customer promise."

Subaru Outback 2014 pricing
2.5i CVT auto - $38,990
2.5i CVT auto option pack - $40,490
2.5i Premium CVT auto - $43,490
2.0D manual - $40,490
2.0D CVT auto - $42,990
2.0D Premium manual - $43,490
2.0D Premium CVT auto - $45,990
3.6R Premium auto - $57,990

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Looking for parts for your current or previous model Outback?

Tuning info for the current model turbo diesel Outback here.

 

Article and images from www.carsales.com.au

 

Toyota has announced that its long awaited successor to the iconic Supra will be rear-wheel drive, though the nameplate is yet to be locked-in.

The top-tier sports model, which will sit above the 86 in Toyota’s line-up, will share its development with the BMW i8 and may even boast a carbon fibre frame. Though just which nameplate the upcoming sports car will wear is still a bone of contention.

Speaking at a media event in Canberra last week, chief engineer of the 86, Tetsuya Tada, told motoring.com.au that ‘Supra’ was just one of the names considered for the upcoming performance flagship.

“The Supra successor is an upper-crust sportscar, and the Supra name is just one candidate for that successor,” said Tada-san.

Tada-san said the nameplate was before a committee and he could not yet say what others badges were being considered. He did, however, confirm that the model would remain rear-wheel drive and that Toyota was not seeking to chase Nurburgring lap times, a la Nissan GT-R.

“The GT-R is a car that is clearly focussed on speed, on lap times. We don’t want to chase the same direction,” explained Tada-san.

“Toyota’s philosophy is always [one of] fun. Fun is more important to the driver, and I’d prefer the driver sense that enjoyment than [focus on] lap time.”

Driver enjoyment appears to be paramount in the decision to adhere to a rear-wheel drive layout too. Tada-san, the man behind the development of the rear-wheel drive 86 said it was his belief that to enjoy the car to its fullest, that one powertrain layout was only ever under consideration.

“The idea has always been to have rear-wheel drive. It’s the most fun layout,” he laughed.

Picture shows Toyota FT-HS (hybrid) concept with 3.5-litre V6

From www.carsales.com.au

By Matt Brogan

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While consumers and onlookers eagerly await this interesting sounding new model, take a look at what is on offer for current model Toyota owners - 86 GT and the 86 GTS, previous model Supra.

Tesla’s Model S has been awarded the highest safety rating of any vehicle ever put through independent crash testing by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Model S picked up a five-star result not just overall but in every sub-category. These cover frontal collision, side pole intrusion, rear collision, roll-over risk and roof crush protection.

Some of the results were simply bizarre. In roll-over testing, the car refused to play ball. Owing to the considerable weight of its broad underfloor battery pack, the car wouldn’t roll under the force of conventional testing gear.

Testers had to find new ways to persuade it to roll at all. At no point before, during or after testing did the battery catch fire, the company added in its statement.

In the event of a rollover, vehicle roofs need extra reinforcement to prevent collapse. To that end, the Model S’s massive B-pillar reinforcements are secured by aerospace grade bolts – enough to ensure the car’s survival against everything the crush machinery could give it. The NHTSA crusher eventually gave out at a little over 4g.

Crash protection for passengers in the optional third row of seating passed in highway-speed impacts thanks to the double bumper Tesla installs as part of the option deal.

Up front, the Model S benefits from the absence of an engine block. This gives the car an abnormally long crumple zone, opening up more time for the vehicle to absorb frontal shock.

In side pole intrusion testing, the Model S claimed the only “good” rating among the top one per cent of vehicles tested. The key to its success lies in the series of extruded aluminium impact points buried in the side rails. They’re designed to, at worst, disseminate the force of side impact through the rest of the body. At best, they will stop the pole’s progress into the bodywork and even use the car’s mass and momentum to shear it off.

Tesla has put no shortage of work into achieving its result, the company’s statement adds: “After verifying through internal testing that the Model S would achieve a NHTSA five-star rating, Tesla then analysed the Model S to determine the weakest points in the car and retested at those locations until the car achieved five stars no matter how the test equipment was configured.”

In its statement, Tesla said that it knows of no occupant deaths in either the Model S or the Roadster that preceded it – although, it added, “this is statistically unlikely to remain the case long-term.”

On the enduring question of when Australians might see the Model S, Tesla Asia Pacific spokeswoman Atsuko Doi says the company is now set to start deliveries Down Under in the second quarter of next year – up to a year after it was originally due on sale here.

Responding to claims that Australian buyers who’ve dropped deposits on the car have been told to expect their cars early in the new year, she said it’s more likely to be the southern autumn before they arrive.

“We’ve been taking deposits since 2009, so there’s nothing new about that,” she told motoring.com.au. “But as of last week, it’s come on stream for right-hand drive countries, so we’ll start delivery in April, May or June (2014).”

Story by Jeremy Bass, as seen on www.motoring.com.au

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Whilst MRT does't do much with any electric/hybird vehicles at this point, beyond log book services and the odd suspension and brake upgrade, we do appreciate advances in automotive engineering. Hats off to Tesla Motors for a new take on how to design a car for safety ratings, as well as for causing the testers to up their game.

For parts for a huge range of internal combustion engined cars. If you're in need of some highly advanced ECU components or sensors for your own data aquasition.

 

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One of Japan’s most iconic cars is making a comeback. A descendant of the game-changing 240Z from 1969, Nissan’s all-new Z-car (code-named Z35) will honour the legendary Datsun with a stylised 21st Century reinterpretation of the original’s long nose, short deck and perfect proportions.

Forty-four years ago, that first Z was designed to appeal mainly to buyers in its biggest market, North America, and the new model will be no different: get a load of the dynamic silhouette in this illustration of how Holiday Auto Magazine sees the next-generation coupe.

While the car will feature a sleek, low-slung body, it will also be downsized from the current 370Z to dimensions that resemble to original Z. And that means it will lose around 50mm in width from the current model’s 1845mm. Our insider says more lightweight high-tensile steel will be used to reduce kerb weight by up to 200kg, to a class-leading 1300kg.

According to a source close to Nissan, the all-new Z35 will be powered by a choice of V6 and four-cylinder petrol engines – to start with. Company bosses want to phase out the V6, although a small but strong six-cylinder fan base may lead engineers to retain a V6 in its engine line-up.

Nissan feels that it has to ‘wean’ the motoring public off the V6, which has been the Z’s mainstay powerplant since the beginning, and switch to a more fuel-efficient four.

We are told that the new four-cylinder will be a 2.5-litre turbo-petrol unit incorporating direct-injection, making the coupe capable of at least 230kW.

However, our insider says Nissan bosses are so concerned about fuel economy and CO2 emissions that they will almost certainly force their engineers to reduce peak power to around 208kW.

For a gutsier Z, customers will be able to look to the company’s in-house tuning arm Nismo, which is rumoured to be working on a 230kW-plus performance leader.

Nissan’s Z33-series 350Z of 2003 was a big hit with enthusiasts globally, and its relatively low sub-$60,000 starting price helped make it successful in sports car terms in Australia.

With the Z34 370Z of 2009, Nissan created a good-looking, sharp-handling coupe, but it pushed up the base price up (to around $70,000 in Australia) to target rivals like the BMW Z4, Porsche Cayman and Audi TT, which hurt sales around the world.

Now the new Z35 must pick up where the Z34 -- oops, we mean the Z33 -- left off and reinvent the Z-car all over again. That means downsizing its body, engines and sticker price, without losing its unique and compelling design.

Expect to see Nissan’s next Z unveiled in concept form at the 2014 Detroit motor show in January, before the final production version debuts a year later at the same show with a pricetag starting under $US30,000 – meaning less than $60,000 when it arrives Down Under later next year.

From www.carsales.com.au

Words by Peter Lyon

 

Chances are if the above details do turn into a production car then MRT will offer all kinds of tuning, suspension, braking and cosmetic upgrades for this model.

We offer thousands of parts for recent and current model Nissa's. R35 GTR tuning and parts. 350Z parts. 370Z tuning and parts.

Also we can supply anything from the entire range of Whiteline and DBA for all of the R32, R33 and R34 Skyline models. Not to mention the older classic 240Z and 260Z.

TWO more Australian-based components-makers are facing closure amidst the continued struggle of Australia’s car industry and industrial base.

In Tasmania, the country’s only manufacturer of engine bearings, ACL Bearing company (in receivership), has finally lost its long battle for survival, with receivers Grant Thornton announcing the plant would be closed in June 2014.

And in Albury, the country’s only transmission plant, Drivetrain Systems International, is also looking at an empty order book when its only current contract expires in October 2014.

Both companies rely heavily on exports, but disadvantageous exchange rates due to the high Australian dollar over the past three years have bitten deep.

On June 30, ACL’s receiver, Matt Byrnes of Grant Thornton, told the 136 staff that ACL would cease manufacture in June 2014. ACL has been in receivership since 2009.

Grant Thornton had put the whole company up for sale earlier this year and Mr Byrnes said it had attracted “strong interest” from overseas.

However, no offers were received for the business as a going concern.

“We will now negotiate with the parties in relation to he assets only and we can do that in the wind-down phase,” he told The Examiner in Launceston.

He said he believed the reluctance to bid for the company was due to the company’s location in Tasmania and the high Australian dollar.

There was also an issue with limited shipping services out of the state.

Mr Byrnes said ACL was not so much affected by the recent Ford decision to close its factories in 2016 or the general decline in large car sales, as around 80 per cent of its production was exported.

ACL was spun out of the failed Repco group in 1986 when senior managers bought ACL from the new owners of Repco.

Products included engine bearings, battery terminals, valve seat inserts, timing pulleys and sprockets, gaskets and a range of parts for water pumps, oil pumps and brake systems.

In June last year, ACL received a prestigious design excellence award from the Metal Powder Industries Federation in the US for a part it supplies to Futuris Automotive for use in steering columns.

The award was made for a powder metallurgy sinter-brazed spacer tube that has been used in the Ford Falcon’s steering assembly since 2008.

The component performs several roles, including providing positive steering column adjustment, supporting the tilt adjustment components and giving adequate energy absorption and impact resistance that complies with ADR requirements.

The outlook for Drivetrain Systems International is not so black and white, but the company’s only contract is set to expire in October next year.

The contract is with SsangYong and is for the supply of six-speed automatic transmissions for SsangYong’s Korando sport utility vehicle.

DSI became a subsidiary of the Zhejiang Geely group in 2009 and was, until then, one of a handful of independent transmission manufacturers in the world. Geely also owns Volvo Cars, which it bought from Ford Motor Company in 2010.

DSI was available because its major customer, SsangYong, had itself run into financial trouble, causing a temporary halt in production at DSI, which led to it being placed in receivership.

The purchase by Geely was seen as a reprieve because Geely was preparing the Korando for market and it needed an automatic transmission for that model.

There are approximately 200 people working at the DSI plant. In its prime, there were 1250 people making transmissions for Ford, Holden and Nissan.

Union representative Sean Morgan told the Border Mail that workers were concerned about the apparent lack of work when the SsangYong contract expires.

“The company has put proposals to China to keep the current workforce with a few plans of what they want to try and do.

“If they are approved, they will keep the workers – if they don’t they won’t. Past experience tells me we won’t hear anything from China for another four weeks.”

 

As can be found at www.goauto.com.au

By Ian Porter

 

MRT stock and supply ACL Bearings. It is going to be sad to see an Australian supply company leave the parts scene, not to mention one less great brand available to all motoring enthuasists.

Hyundai is serious about developing a performance range of vehicles under its SR banner, which will be fleshed out by the new Accent SR later this year and a piping-hot 200kW i30 hot hatch within a few years.

During the launch of Hyundai’s new 129kW i30 SR, the most powerful i30 to date and the Korean brand’s second SR model after the Veloster Turbo SR, Hyundai Australia's Senior Manager for Product Planning, Scott Williams, told motoring.com.au that a tyre-frying i30 hot hatch could be ready by 2015.

Momentum is building within Hyundai to develop performance oriented vehicles, with Australia one of the key markets pushing the go-fast barrow, and Williams said the new 129kW i30 SR was a "stepping stone" to the next level.

"We've got tier one, entry-level models, now we have tier two [the i30 SR] with performance and suspension improvements, so the next step would logically be a tier three car, like a Mazda3 MPS," he said.

Williams would't reveal what engine will power the 'tier three' i30 hot hatch, but the turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine used in the Santa Fe Sport, which outputs 197kW/365Nm, appears more likely than the Veloster Turbo SR's 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine.

The latter engine will power sister company Kia’s new Koup (due here in October) and all-new Pro_cee’d GT hatch (expected early next year).

The smaller Korean brand confirmed both turbo models for Australia at this week’s launch of the new Cerato hatch, most versions of which are powered by the Hyundai i30 SR’s 129kW 2.0-litre atmo engine.

Another option for the top-tier i30 is an all-new direct-injected 2.0-litre turbo engine not yet publicly announced.

Whatever the case, it will be potent. Williams baulked when it was suggested the i30 hot hatch would offer 150kW. "More like 150 to 200kW,” he said.

"Going forward we'll be looking at 2.0-litre engines more actively. Certainly you need an entry-level base engine, which should be a 1.6 or a 1.8, and mid and higher grades could be 2.0-litre," he said.

When questioned about timing, Williams proffered: "I'd say two or three years from now".

He said getting Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) in Korea on board with new performance projects will be dependent on cars like the i30 SR reaching sales targets, currently set at 200 to 250 sales per month.

Hyundai also confirmed at the i30 SR launch that the Accent SR sports hatch concept, which was previewed alongside the i30 SR at last year’s Sydney motor show will become a showroom production model in November.

“I’m delighted to advise that this car too is moving rapidly towards the production phase, and should be available in Australia within three months,” said HMCA Director of Marketing Oliver Mann.

Australian will be the first in the world to have access to both the i30 SR and Accent SR and both models have been the subject of a significant local tuning program.

Expected to be priced from about $21,000, the Accent SR will not be a rival for hot hatches such as the Fiesta ST and Polo GTI, but a warm hatch to compete with sporty light-sized hatchbacks like the Kia Rio SLi and Suzuki Swift Sport.

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From www.carsales.com.au
By Feann Torr

 

Own a new Hyundai and want to improve the handling or stopping capabilities?

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Zoom Zoom fans rejoice, Mazda is planning a new 'halo' performance car to be introduced after 2016.

With the rotary-powered RX-8 out of production and the Japanese brand revealing today it has no plans to offer a hot MPS version of its new 3, Mazda's range is worryingly short of a hardcore performance variant.

But speaking exclusively to Wheels at the reveal of the new 3 sedan, Mazda MD Martin Benders revealed there are plans within the company to build a new 'halo sports car'.

"Look I agree it’s important for Mazda to have a performance model", he said. "And head office is very aware of that as well. So everyone is on board to build one, it's just a matter of what it will be and when it will be."

Benders would't be drawn on any details, but did reveal the model could feature all-wheel-drive or a performance-tuned engine.

"I've heard all sorts of things so I do't know which one they'll go with," he said. "But the beauty of us having a range of new platforms and engines means we can mix and match what we want to build a new halo model. So whether that means all-wheel-drive or something else we'll have to wait and see."

The one thing Benders could confirm, however, is the halo model is unlikely to be a rotary.

"The rotary is't stone cold dead, but to make it a normal engine again requires quite a lot of investment and that's expensive," he said. "It'd need a whole new engine line, it ca't go on our existing infrastructure. So I suspect it’s unlikely to reappear, which is sad but economic and environmental realities, which dictate we have to us less fuel, show a harsh reality."

But while news of a halo car sounds promising, do't expect to see it anytime soon. Benders revealed the company plans to overhaul its current range before any new performance model hits showrooms.

"The investment we've made recently into new platforms and SkyActiv technology needs to show a return before we can do anything," he said. "So we need to get all of the base elements of the business sorted first then we'll look into it.

"So we’re fixing up everything they've got now, turning over all our existing models - including MX-5 - to the new models and then we'd look to round out the range with a halo sports car. But that won be until after 2016."

From Wheels Magazine. Written by Alex Inwood.

 

For late model piston powered Mazdas, MRT has plenty to offer in the way of performance upgrades and tuning solutions.

After some parts to make your Mazda that bit more exciting to drive?

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Sony Pictures confirms full-length feature film inspired by Gran Turismo video game.

A rumour is sweeping the virtual driving circuit about a possible big-screen adaptation of one of the most popular driving games around, Gran Turismo.

Game-to-movie moves usually get lost in translation, but if Battleships can make that transition then surely Gran Turismo -- which is partially the product of a movie entertainment company (Sony) -- should be entitled to a shot.

Today motoring.com.au confirmed with local Sony reps that a Gran Turismo movie is indeed in the works.

“Sony Pictures are developing a full-length feature film inspired by the Gran Turismo franchise,” said a Sony spokesperson.

“Produced by Michael Deluca and Dana Brunetti, the film will capture the adrenalin of the racing world and a human dimension will be inspired by GT Academy.”

GT Academy is a collaboration with Nissan to unearth real racing driver talent from a pool of virtual Gran Turismo players.

Meanwhile, out of the world’s biggest consumer gaming show -- Gamescom in Cologne, Germany -- Sony and developer Polyphony Digital have been forging new collaborations with car manufacturers.

As part of the celebrations of 15 years of Gran Turismo virtual racing design, teams from Alfa Romeo, Alpine, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Bertone, GM Design, Honda, Infiniti, Italdesign Giugiaro, JORDAN Brand, Mercedes-Benz, Nike, Nissan, Peugeot, SRT(Chrysler), Volkswagen and Zagato have created concept models giving a unique insight into the future of the automotive sector.

These high-level concepts will be recreated as working and drivable virtual cars in the Gran Turismo 6 video game, which will be released for the PlayStation 3 console on December 6.

Known as ‘Vision Gran Turismo’, this initiative celebrates a decade and a half of the 70-million-selling franchise on PlayStation consoles.

Vision Gran Turismo will include cars such as the BMW Vision Gran Turismo (pictured), an exclusive virtual concept derived from BMW M genes.

“Gran Turismo and BMW share a genetic passion for cars, both modern and classic,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice-President of BMW Group Design.

“I’ve followed this racing game franchise from its beginnings and am extremely excited about the increased visual realism of Gran Turismo 6 and its incredibly authentic driving experience.”

The creation of the BMW Vision Gran Turismo sees BMW underlining its ongoing involvement in the gaming sphere. The increasing prominence of the video game market -- and its active gaming community -- allows concepts like the BMW Vision Gran Turismo, as well as classic and current BMW models, not only to be viewed passively as images or trailers, but also to be experienced and driven interactively by millions of people.

“Vision Gran Turismo offers an impressively creative platform for the innovative presentation of the BMW Design vision developed exclusively for the game,” said Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice-President of Brand Communications at BMW.

Volkswagen gave free rein to its designers to explore the future of the iconic Golf GTI with the Golf GTI Vision Gran Turismo.

The Alfa Romeo 6C Biposto Vision Gran Turismo, created by the team responsible for the Alfa Romeo 4C, will celebrate an iconic model from the 1930s.

Mercedes-Benz is describing the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo as a bold glimpse into the future that unites sensual purity with classic Mercedes-Benz design elements.

Lüder Fromm, Head of Global Marketing Communications at Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars, said: “Video games are perfectly suited to precisely addressing young, modern target groups on an emotional level.

“Gran Turismo 6, with its uncontested reputation as setting the benchmark in the racing-games genre, provides the perfect platform for creating an interactive experience with a new, visionary concept for a Mercedes-Benz’s super sports car. We are certain that the concept vehicle will inspire millions of gamers and Gran Turismo fans worldwide.”

Volkswagen Design Director said GT6 project was an unrivalled way to expose its GTI brand to young gamers.

“The Vision GT project offers a great opportunity to flesh out extreme ideas and portray the Volkswagen GTI’s design elements as vividly, dynamically and emotionally as possible.,” he said.

“The further development of an unmistakable design and loving attention to detail reflect the high standards shared by the Volkswagen GTI product brand and Gran Turismo by Sony PlayStation. We look forward to creating a vehicle that gamers can use to gain unrivalled virtual experiences of the GTI world.”

The cars will be released by Polyphony Digital from 2013 to 2014 as gifted downloadable content (DLC) to owners of Gran Turismo 6 via online updates. Vision Gran Turismo has been developed as a ‘thank you’ to the franchise’s loyal fan base for its successful 15-year history.

“This is a very exciting project,” explained legendary Gran Turismo creator and President of Polyphony Digital Inc, Kazunori Yamauchi.

“Ever since we released the first Gran Turismo game 15 years ago, GT has resonated with the automotive world and we have enjoyed many different and fascinating collaborations. But Vision Gran Turismo is probably our most ambitious to date. It promises to provide a window into the future of automotive design that we can bring to life in Gran Turismo 6.

“We are extremely grateful to all of our design partners in this project for their amazing birthday present to Gran Turismo to celebrate the franchise’s 15-year anniversary, and are so excited to share this gift with our fans. Working closely with the leading lights of automotive design, as well as some design teams from outside of the industry, has been a rare privilege and we look forward to sharing their creations with fans of Gran Turismo from this year through to 2014.”

Article by Mike Bantick of www.motoring.com.au

 

If gaming is't your thing and you'd prefer to work on something other than a digital car, check out what MRT has to offer for all kinds of makes and models.

 

Toyota 86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada draws big numbers to Sydney-based sportscar celebration.

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A rock-star welcome greeted the chief engineer of Toyota’s cult sportscar, Tetsuya Tada, at Festival of 86 last weekend.

Tada-san drew a record number of 86 owners to the club event with more than 500 people queuing to grab an autograph from the much-admired designer.

Toyota Australia hosted the club event at its Sydney headquarters. Organisers said 272 cars attended the function with 234 examples of the Toyota 86 on display – a record outside of Japan.

A further 27 owners brought their AE86 – the car recognised as the spiritual predecessor of the 86 – while 11 others brought twin-under-the-skin Subaru BRZs.

Fans of the 86 came from as far afield as Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and even New Zealand. All had responded to an invitation issued on social media sites only a fortnight ahead of the event, which reached capacity attendance a week later.

During the three-hour-long event, Tada-san spent his time signing autographs on everything from vehicle components (from dash panels to engine covers), models cars, T-shirts, posters and owner’s manuals.

"I am very excited to join Australian fans of the 86," Tada-san told the gathered crowd.

"I made this car for you – and people like you around the world. You have made this car a great success with more than 6000 sold in Australia – the third-highest total in the world."

The Toyota 86 has sold more than 6000 units since it went on sale locally in mid-2012. This year to-date 4049 units have been sold – and the waiting list grows. Toyota said that depending on variant, waiting times can stretch between three and six months, though some dealerships are reporting queues as long as nine months for more popular models.

By contrast, the Subaru BRZ, which shares all but the badge with its Toyota cousin, has sold only 1000 units since it went on sale last August; and 873 units thus far this year.

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From www.carsales.com.au

By Matt Brogan

 

One of the most common cars around the MRT workshop at the moment is the Toyota 86. Take a look at just some of what is on offer for the GT model. or for the top of the line GTS model.

Want to see what tuning your Toyota 86 with EcuTek software can do?

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But Japan-only limited-edition offers no performance boost
It was officially teased earlier this month and now Subaru has released images and full details of its first factory-modified BRZ since the boxer-engined sports coupe went on sale here last July.

As expected, the bad news is the ‘BRZ tS’ is a special-edition model only for Japan and comes with no extra performance, which has been the one criticism of the BRZ and its twin model, Toyota’s 86.

Limited to just 500 examples, including 250 GT Package versions, the BRZ tS goes on sale in Japan today.

Additions include STI-tuned suspension, a larger-diameter driveshaft, ventilated Brembo brake discs, silver 18-inch alloy wheels, an STI front under-spoiler and ‘STI’/’’tS’ logos on the front quarter and speedo.

In addition, the motorsport-oriented tS GT Package offers an ST “dry carbon” rear spoiler, black BBS18-inch alloys and Recaro front buckets seats.

See the full specs list below.


BRZ tS specifications:
225/40ZR18 (92Y) tyres (Michelin Pilot Super Sport)
STI designed 18-inch x 7.5-inch aluminium wheels (silver)
Brembo front 17-inch opposed four-pot ventilated disc brake with ‘STI’ logo
Brembo rear 17-inch opposed two-pot ventilated disc brake with ‘STI’ logo
STI designed rear suspension link with pillow ball bush (trailing link front, lateral link front inside & rear inside)
STI tuned strut and STI coil springs for front suspension
STI tuned damper and STI coil springs for rear suspension
STI designed flexible tower bar, front
STI designed flexible draw stiffener, front
STI designed large-diameter driveshaft
Exclusively-tuned VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control)
Exclusively-tuned filter for Sound Creator
STI designed front under spoiler
STI designed front fender garnish with ‘STI’ logo
Exclusively-made ‘STI’ ornament (front & rear), ‘tS’ ornament (rear)
Exclusively-made front seat with ‘STI’ logo and red stitch
Alcantara / leather greay trim with ‘STI’ logo
Exclusively-made leather wrapped steering wheel (with ‘STI’ ornament and red stitch)
STI designed leather shift knob (manual transmission)/select lever (automatic transmission) with ‘STI’ logo
Exclusively-made speedometer with ‘STI’ logo
Exclusively-made speedometer visor (Alcantara (black), black stitch)
Carbon tone instrument panel
STI designed push engine switch with ‘STI’ logo (red)
Exclusively-made aluminium side sill plate with ‘tS’ logo
STI designed leather access key cover (red)

GT Package:
STI designed 18-inch x 7.5-inch aluminium wheels (black)
STI designed dry carbon rear spoiler (2 angle adjustable)
Recaro designed front bucket seat
Alcantara/leather grey seat trim with ‘STI’ logo, grey stitch

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Story by Matt Pettendy, as can be viewed at www.carsales.com.au

Take a look at the impressive gains available in performance from an MRT Power Kit for the current BRZ model.

Looking for brake, suspension or forced induction parts for your BRZ or 86?

If cosmetic upgrades are't enough for you, look here for dyno data on what can be done with the BRZ/86 twins.

 

ARC Update 2012 & plans for 2013

Following on our rally success in 2012 (for those that do't already know - we won the SUV Championship with a couple of rounds to go!) its to be expected that MRT will announce their complete 2013 plans shortly. What we can tell you here within our E-Magazine is that myself and Andrew Benefield will compete in the full 2013 Australian Rally Championship in our (unique) Subaru Turbo Diesel Forester. The aim is to win another SUV title to back up our 2012 win, as well as to continue to develop the Subaru diesel engine from a tuning perspective and the current generation Forester chassis from a suspension point of view.

What I ca't say right now is who will be partnering us with regard to corporate partners. As soon as this is finalised we will release that info here, to you, our valued customers and readers.

 

Hot Tuner Challenge

Well Motor Magazines annual Hot Tuner Challenge is done and dusted for the 2012 year. I think that's now four years in a row that MRT have competed, everyone one of them with at least one Subaru or more!

This year our faithful partner Troy Kelly and his MPS gen 2 came along for the ride, and MRT presented their new Subaru BRZ. Given the time constraints on taking delivery of the BRZ and getting it ready for the event I'd really like to thank all of our partnering suppliers and most of all my MRT Performance staff for all the extra time and effort they put into ensuring the car was in the best possible set up for the shoot out.

What a challenge it was!
Less than four weeks to prepare and test the BRZ was a tough ask, especially when the other shops had their Toyota's for weeks before us!

Our aim was always to deliver an outstanding overall package that displays the ability of MRT and our corporate partners. We certainly achieved that!

We will run a separate story for updates on this, as well as keep an eye on the growing list of videos here - https://www.youtube.com/user/Brettmiddleton

 

Reasearch and Development

The entire team has been working tirelessly to finish off final testing and begin production of a range of new parts, as well as the functionality of our E-Catalogue/Webstore so it makes it easy for you to locate all the latest and greatest parts for your car. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks as not only will we be launching more BRZ parts (a large portion of the items we ran on our car at HTC), we will also be activating some new advanced functions and features within the webstore.

The new EcuTeK Pro Cable has been an instant hit both here in Australia and worldwide. It now gives us the abilty to send you out a map for you to upload to your car, great if you want an EcuTeK tune but you're not within a reasonable driving distance of your local authorised outlet. Please note this does not apply to all EcuTek supported models. Please refer to our E-Catalogue to see if you vehicle is included.

For our Australian based readers, do't forget summer is coming. Now is a good time to check out the ever expanding range of MRT intercoolers.

 

That's it for this issue. Until next time, happy motoring and stay safe.

The CEO of oil giant Gulf has predicted that crude oil prices could drop by up to 50 per cent to around $US50 a barrel by the end of the year. However, he’s downplayed the impact this might have on retail fuel prices.

Speaking on CNBC business program Squawk Box late last week, Joe Petrowski called the prospect a matter of “simple economics”, dictated more by strong supply than weak demand. “We're producing record amounts of oil and natural gas in the United States and in Canada,” he said.

He and the program’s commentators went on to explain how the issue is compounded by conditions on both sides of the demand-supply equation, with weakening international demand and snowballing price cuts as OPEC countries scramble to compete.

China’s demand is slowing, Petrowski told them, while “travel is picking up. But we’re using much less oil – no oil in the electric sector, and natural gas is taking much of the heating sector away.”

He denied, however, that this is a precursor to the “armageddon” some have predicted in the event of a drop below $80 a barrel, because it’s being driven from the supply side. “[Plus] there’s simply more efficient cars and we’re switching to alternate fuels.”

And besides, half-price crude doesn’t translate directly into half-price fuel. Companies like Gulf still have to refine it and transport it, after all, and those costs aren’t halving. But he is convinced that profit margins will come under pressure.

All of which means, Petrowski predicts, that the biggest potential problems lie not in the commercial sector but in the potential for social unrest in those mainly Arab nations whose governments use oil-funded social subsidies to maintain internal stability.

As CNN commentators explain, the rise in North American energy output, combined with a steady decline in demand worldwide, will likely lead to a drop in demand for OPEC oil of up to a million barrels a day over the next three years. Such a drop, all agree, could adversely affect domestic spending in edgy OPEC member nations like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, and non-member nations like Russia.

 

Servicing your car at correct intervals, tyre choice and suspension alignment all can have big effects on your cars fuel economy. All the parts you need to keep it running at its peak are here.

Reproduced from www.carsales.com.au

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Nine-times World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb has conquered the 4.3km high Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to set an all-time record that many believe will never be beaten.

Loeb steered his insanely powerful 643kW Peugeot 208 T16 to victory at the legendary mountain race in Colorado, USA, with a time of 8 minutes 13 seconds, shattering Rhys Mille's previous 2012 record by 1 minute 33 seconds - a country mile in motorsport terms.

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Loeb hammered up the 156 turn, 20km course at an average speed of 140km/h in perfect sunny conditions, while Rhys Millen came in second place with an average speed of 127km/h.

Despite beating his own record by a whopping 44 seconds, Millen was still 49 seconds off Loeb's pace, putting Peugeot's achievement in perspective.

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Third placed Jean-Philippe Dayraut (also a Frenchman) was a further 40 seconds behind Mille's turbocharged V6 Hyundai Genesis Coupe race car. Dayraut drove his MINI Country powered by a Nissan GT-R twin-turbo V6 across the finish line in 9.42.

Only two days earlier, Millen told motoring.com.au "If they [Peugeot] have a good run on Sunday, I don’t think you'll ever see that record fall again."

After his record-breaking win, Loeb said he "felt really good in the car" and "pushed it hard from the start to the finish".

The Frenchman has been in Colorado Springs (where the event is held) for four weeks prior to the race, driving the public road course everyday to give himself the best chance of winning.

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"I made no mistakes, and I felt the race was really good," said the French rally ace.

The Peugeot 208 T16 he drove to victory is a custom made race car that utilises several parts from its Le Mans race program, and is believed to have cost several million dollars to build. It follows in the footsteps of the Peugeot 405 T16 that Finn Ari Vatanen raced to victory in the 1989 Pikes Peak hill climb.

"To drive a car like this and race up here is what makes this special," said Loeb of the demonic Peugeot 208, which accelerates from 0-100km/h faster than an F1 car.

"It's amazing," he gushed.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb winds its way from 2862 metres (9390ft) to an astonishing 4300 metres (14,110ft) high finish line at the mountai's summit, making it one of the highest races on the planet.

Apart from the winding road that has caught many of the more than 2000 drivers off guard since the race started in 1916, the event is unique for its variety of vehicles. Everything from quads, to motorcycles, trucks, open-wheelers, vintage cars and even electric vehicles are fielded in the 'race to the clouds'.

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While Hyundai was beaten in the headline 'unlimited' class by a resolute Peugeot, the Korean car maker won the 'time attack' class, as Paul Dallenbach set a new category record time of 9.46 in his turbocharged Genesis Coupe.

Other winners included Pikes Peak favourite Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, who stole victory from a pair of determined Mitsubishi MiEV Evo II cars in the 'electric' class for his ninth win in the event.

While the electric Mitsubishi race car's qualified in first and second place earlier in the week, Tajima's time of 9.46 in his E-RUNNER race car handed him victory after rain-clouds drenched the track. It also marked a major milestone for the class -- the first electric race car to crack the nine minute mark.

Interestingly, the fastest motorcycle was an electric bike, the Lightning Electric SuperBike, with Carlin Dunne recording a time of 10:00 flat.

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Many records were broken at Pikes Peak in 2013 due in large part to the track being fully sealed for the first time. In the past there have been gravel sections.

The question asked by many ecstatic spectators at the event was not whether Peugeot would return to defend its near-unbeatable record in 2014, but whether it needed to.

 

If racing and track days are your thing, why not join MRT for some track day fun?

For those of you building serious racecars, check our online catalogue for all your suspension, aerodynamic and data acquisition needs.

 

Article and images from www.carsales.com.au

 

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AUSTRALIAN Formula One gun Mark Webber will retire from the sport at the end of 2013 and start a multi-year deal with the factory-backed Porsche LMP1 endurance team.

The deal will see him compete in Porsche’s new LMP1 hybrid sports prototype at the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the sportscar World Endurance Championship WEC in 2014.

The 36-year old Canberra native, currently one half of the championship-leading Red Bull Racing team, is the oldest driver on the F1 grid and a veteran of 205 races.

Over the course of his career from 2002 until today, he has managed 36 podiums, nine wins and 11 poles. He came within a whisker of winning the title in 2010, leading for much of the season.

Mr Webber will join former Red Bull development driver Neel Jani at the LMP1 team. He is no stranger to sportscar racing, having previously competed for Mercedes in 1998 and 1999 – famously flipping his car backwards at 300km/h ahead of the 1999 Le Mans 24-hour.

In 1998 he finished runner-up in the FIA GT Championship at the wheel of a sports prototype.

Rumours of a departure have been widespread for some time, growing in heat since the Malaysian Grand Prix in March where team-mate Sebastian Vettel defied Red Bull team orders and passed him for the lead before going on to win the race.

“It’s an honour for me to join Porsche at its return to the top category in Le Mans and in the sports car World Endurance Championship and be part of the team,” said Mr Webber.

“Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding technology and performance at the highest level.

“I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula 1. Porsche will undoubtedly set itself very high goals. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world.”

Paying tribute to Webber's time with Red Bull, team principal Christian Horner said:“I am sure Mark thought long and hard before making what has no doubt been a very difficult decision.

“His achievements in Formula One are extensive and I am sure he will continue to push hard and build on that record until the end of the season.

We support Mark’s decision, he has been an excellent addition to the team since joining us in 2007 and we wish him all the best in the next stages of his career.”

 

Article by Mike Costello from www.goauto.com.au

 

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The holder of the world land speed record, Andy Green, says he will break his 1223km/h (760mph) top speed in 2016 driving a 97,820kW (133,000hp) rocket car that will cost $30million to build.

And we can all ride shotgun.

When the new world record attempt takes place on a dry lake bed in South Africa in 2016, Green says the Bloodhound SSC, or supersonic car, will reach a speed of 1609km/h (1000mph) and the feat will be streamed live to billions of people across the planet.

The land speed record attempt in three years' time is expected to generate so much Internet traffic that new IT infrastructure is being set up to cope with demand says Andy Green, who is a mathematician by trade and currently a serving Wing Commander in the RAF.

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"We've been told to expect -- the year we start running -- by Cisco, a web capacity of three billion page views," he explained in Sydney.

By contrast, Felix Baumgartner's Red Bull-sponsored tropospheric space dive attracted around nine million page views in October 2012.

The automotive action will be streamed live via 16 cameras festooned across the massive Bloodhound SSC "car" and Green plans to be talking viewers through the whole shebang, at speeds eclipsing 1600km/h.

"What we're going to do is run a live video from the car at those sorts of speeds and beyond, while I'm actually talking about what I'm seeing and feeling and doing in a car."

While Cisco is on board the project as well as Rolex, Lockheed Martin and Rolls-Royce, Green says more IT partners are needed, and that "we're talking to Google, YouTube, Microsoft."

"Getting live video from the car moving at 1000 miles per hour is technically nearly as hard as building the car in the first place," states the RAF pilot, whose call sign is 'Dead Dog'.

"The live video feed has to go offshore from South Africa into the cloud globally. If we try and run it from a South African web server, we would crash the national infrastructure of the Internet," he explains.

The record attempt will be over quickly, in a matter of minutes, and the Bloodhound SSC will cover around 20km in that short time.

"We've got a 20km track in South Africa. It's just long enough," says Green who is on a promotional tour as a Bentley ambassador. "I would love it to be 25km to give me a buffer zone but we've got 20km. That's enough."

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While Andy Green drives a 147kW Volkswagen Golf GTI in the UK, the Bloodhound SSC is powered by three motors, the smallest a 588kW (800hp) Cosworth F1 engine whose sole purpose is to pump 40 litres of fuel per second to the main engines, one jet, one rocket.

The Bloodhound SSC's total power output is almost 100,000kW.

"We've got 12 tonnes of thrust for the rocket, nine tonnes of thrust for the jet. In total, 21 tonnes of thrust is 210 kiloNewtons, in equivalent horsepower terms, 133,000 horsepower, not including the 800hp from the F1 engine," he notes.

Accelerating from 0-1600km/h is no mean feat but Green says his barking-mad rocket car is unlikely to deliver any breakthroughs for regular passenger cars.

"If anything that were doing with the Bloodhound ends up in a car I'd be surprised. The world does not need to go to the shops at 1600km/h," he opines.

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So why does the daredevil pilot want to break the world land speed record, which he himself set at Black Rock Desert in the USA in 1997 (driving the ThrustSSC, [last two images]), also becoming the first man to break the sound barrier in a car?

"It's an engineering adventure to capture a generation," he says. "Wherever you are in the world, you can look over my shoulder while I'm doing it," explains the passionate RAF pilot who hopes to inspire a new generation of technology scientists, something he says the world is in short supply of.

"We're actually aiming for a legacy that will make science and engineering more fun and interesting for the next generation.

"This is not an automotive challenge, it's an engineering adventure," grins Green.

 

Whilst it is highly unlikely you'll ever find any bolt on parts for a "car" like this, it is very possible that MRT offer any number of excellent upgrades for your current car. Click here to find out.

 

www.motoring.com.au
by Feann Torr

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It's a nice little earner for MAZDASPEED and its parent, but in a smaller market like Australia the business case for selling competition parts across the counter is harder to justify, suggests Mazda Australia's Public Relations Manager, Steve Maciver.

"It's a different scenario here," Maciver told motoring.com.au. "There's a much smaller number of people participating [in motor sport] here."

Allied with that is Mazda Australia's status as "a fairly lean organisation," which discourages business development in areas unlikely to show more or less immediate profit.

While cars like the MX-5 and Mazda3 MPS are popular in Australia for club-level track events, the brand's penetration in motor sport circles here cannot compare in any way with what Mazda has achieved in the US. In California for the launch of the Mazda3 last week, Australian journalists were treated to an informative run-down of the American motor sport scene and Mazda's part in it by MAZDASPEED Motorsports Communications Officer, Dean Case – seemingly the only bloke at Mazda who appreciates Australia's V8 Supercars series.

Case began by explaining that NASCAR (oval track racing) and the NHRA (drag racing) amount to the lio's share of motor sport activity in the US. But what remains (ALMS, Grand-Am, SCCA and NASA, to name a few) is roundly dominated by Mazda. The Japanese brand may hold just two per cent of American market share for new-car sales, but on the race track in those series mentioned, the Mazda badge outguns Toyota, Nissan and Honda combined for a 'market share' of around 50 per cent.

Probably the standard bearer for Mazda in American motor sport is the MX-5, which can be put on the track for USD $47,000 – including the purchase price of the car – but could earn a winning driver in the MX-5 Cup Championship as much as $250,000. That's potentially a 500 per cent return on investment for the winning driver.

According to Case, reasons for Mazda participating actively in motor sport competition include durability/reliability monitoring, technology transfer and enhanced brand management. And then there's the revenue to be earned from selling parts too, of course.

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In 2013 Mazda competes in, or supports and sponsors nine different categories of motor sport, with club-level racing at the base of the pyramid. The two forms of club-level racing are represented by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) or the National Auto Sports Association (NASA). Mazda is the SCCA's official brand. This type of racing is often a feeder for the MX-5 Cup, the IMSA Sports Car Prototypes Lites category (cars powered by 2.0-litre MZR engines), Grand-Am ST production cars and Grand-Am GX (silhouette formula).

This year the Mazda6 has been campaigning in Grand-Am GX racing. After an unfortunate start – a DNF at Daytona – the diesel-powered car placed second in the next two rounds and won the subsequent four rounds. With five more rounds remaining, the Mazda6 is in a strong position to win the championship, Case believes. The race cars share many of the components with the production cars, but the output has been raised from 175hp and 310lb-ft to 400hp and 450lb-ft. Mazda has knocked back the compression ratio from 14:1 to 12.5:1 and the rev limit has been lowered from 5200 to 4900rpm.

Mazda's turbocharged 2.0-litre MZR engine powered the winning team and driver in ALMS (American Le Mans Series) P1, and the company was the winning manufacturer also.

The company is also heavily represented in open-wheeler categories of different types – sometimes as a sponsor, sometimes as an engine supplier. Young Aussie Matthew Brabham, grandson of Sir Jack, won the Pro Mazda championship in USF2000 last year. The first rung of the ladder is karting, with upward steps via Formula Mazda, the Skip Barber Series, USF2000 (2.0-litre MZR engines), Pro Mazda (RX-8 rotary engines), and Indy Lights, which is sponsored by Mazda.

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It sounds like a real success story for Mazda, but the various categories of motor sport in America have experienced peaks and troughs since the Global Financial Crisis, Case explained. Indy car racing has reunited, the Atlantic Championship has "faded away", the Miller Mustang Cup and the VW TDI Cup were both created and killed off in the same period, and Formula BMW ceased. Motor sport's swings and roundabouts were reflected throughout the broader industry also, as Case pointed out, with GM and Chrysler reborn after bankruptcy; Jaguar, Land Rover, Saab and Volvo all sold; and Ford selling off its share in Mazda barring 3.5 per cent.

But the recent stability across the motor sport spectrum may be taken as a sign that the wider US economy is recovering – and Americans are returning to the sport(s) they love.

 

EcuTeK tuning for Mazdas.

MRT Power Kits for 3 MPS Gen 1, 3 MPS Gen 2, 6 MPS, CX-7 and 2005 onwards MX5.

Online catalogue for all your tuning, service, suspension, brake and cosmetic needs.

 

Article by Ken Gratton
www.motoring.com.au

The Nissan GT-R will make a return to the Bathurst 12 Hour in February 2014 as part of a new Nismo Global Driver Exchange program.

Nissan Motorsport V8 Supercar driver Rick Kelly will spearhead the driver team for the famous Australian endurance race.

It marks the first time in more than two decades that Nissan has entered a factory-backed Nissan GT-R at the 6.2km Mount Panorama race track. Jim Richards and Mark Skaife won back-to-back Bathurst 1000s in 1991 and 1992 driving a third-generation Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R.

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Driving the 405kW/637Nm GT-R Nismo GT3 racecar, Rick Kelly will be joined by yet-to-be-decided young international drivers from the Nismo Global Driver Exchange Program, many of whom graduated from the Gran Turismo Academy video game school, such as Spaniard Lucas Ordonez.

Competing under the 'Nismo Athlete Global Team' banner, the fully factory-backed team is based out of Yokohama in Japan, and has so far confirmed it will contest three global endurance motorsport events: the Sepang 12 Hour race in Malaysia (August 2013), the Nurburgring 1000km race in Germany (September 2013) and Bathurst 12 Hour event in Australia (February 2014).

Nissan Global Motorsport Director Darren Cox said Bathurst will play a key part in the company's global motorsport expansion and is proof of the impact Nissan Motorsport has had in the V8 Supercars championship.

"In selecting the Bathurst 12 Hour as a key part of our 2014 racing program, Nissan has further cemented Australasia as a critical element of our global motorsport plans," said Cox.

"Mount Panorama is one of the world’s iconic racing circuits and the Nissan GT-R has incredible history there. We are pleased to be at Bathurst with Nissan Motorsport in V8 Supercars this October, and then again with the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 next February for the Bathurst 12 Hour," he stated.

Rick Kelly's confirmation for the Bathurst 12 Hour race will mark his first start in the event, but the 2006 V8 Supercars champion has contested the Bathurst 1000 event 12 times and won it twice (2003, 2004) so he will be instrumental in the team's pursuit of victory.

Darren Cox explained: "Our Nismo entry in the Bathurst 12 Hour is an important part of our 'Nismo Global Driver Exchange' and we are excited to have Rick Kelly as an Australian element of this entry next February".

Kelly himself reckons the GT-R can once again be king of the mountain and win the Bathurst 12 Hour race, and is equally excited at the prospect of driving a GT3 racecar.

"The car will be capable of winning and Nissa's history at Bathurst is well documented, especially with the GT-R, aka 'Godzilla'. We’ll be giving it our best shot," said Kelly.

"The GT-R is an amazing car in its standard form, so in Nismo GT3 race-specification I think it will be capable of great things.

"Nismo has kept a very keen eye on our V8 Supercars program since we announced we were bringing Nissan back to the sport here in Australia. We’ve had strong and open dialogue with them and I think this is the start of what we can make happen in the future," said Kelly, hinting at more domestic GT-R motorsport forays in the future.

"It’s exciting that this entry will form part of the Nismo Global Driver Exchange," he added. "It’s fantastic that Nissan is not only committed to an entry in the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour, but is also sending drivers from its extensive global motorsport program to the event," added Kelly.

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The announcement comes after Nissan Motorsport's return to the V8 Supercars championship this year with a four-car Nissan Altima team. The Nissan Altima production vehicle will go on sale in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2013.

As Nismo ramps up its local and international motorsport ventures, there's also the increased likelihood of a range of Nismo performance parts and even the potential of a locally-tuned Nismo Altima in 2014.

Nismo has already tuned several vehicles in its range, none of which are available in Australia yet, such as the Juke Nismo, GT-R Nismo and 370Z Nismo.

 

MRT has a host of exciting performance parts for the Nissan range of cars. R35 GTR, the 350Z and also the 370Z just to name a few.

We also support a large range of the late model Nissans using EcuTek tuning software - click here to find out more.

Replicated from www.carsales.com.au

Toyota will team up with former national drift champion Beau Yates to contest this year’s Australian Drifting Grand Prix series with a heavily modified 350kW version of its 86 coupe.

 

Yates, who is a Toyota Australia ‘ambassador’, won the 2007 championship in the spiritual predecessor of the popular 86, the Toyota AE86, and will make his competition return after a three-year break.

 

His Toyota Australia-backed 86 will make its debut at the first of four rounds of the 2013 Australian Drifting Grand Prix at Adelaide's Mallala Raceway on October 5.

 

The Australian drifting series will then move to Barbagallo Raceway in West Australia (December 7-8), Sydney Motor Sport Park (January 25-26) and Calder Raceway in Victoria (April 5-6).

 

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Sydney-based Yates (pictured) said the lightweight rear-wheel drive 86 is perfectly suited to drifting.

 

“The 86 is an affordable sports car that's meant to be enjoyed by driving enthusiasts everywhere,” he said.

 

“Its chassis and suspension are so neutral and predictable, there's plenty of scope for a car nut like me to fully explore its dynamic potential.

 

“To convert a standard vehicle into a competitive and dedicated drift machine, my plan is to take out more than 250kg from the already lightweight 86 and more than double its power with a turbocharger and other engine modifications.

 

“My AE86 championship car was nimble and flexible, but the new 86 combines those qualities with spectacular go-forward speed.”

 

As expected, the 86 has become a hit with drift exponents globally, with four-times Nordic drift champion Fredric Aasbo successfully campaigning a turbocharged 86 in the North American championship.

 

Yates said he was inspired to enter the Australian title after meeting Aasbo in March at Calder Park during the Formula Asia Drift Championship round, where Aasbo drove a NASCAR V8-powered 86.

 

Whether you're building your own drift racer Toyota 86, or simply want to fine tune it as a daily driver, MRT has all the suspension, brake and handling parts you could want. Simply click here and insert your year, make, model and series.

If some more torque and peak power is on your 86's wishlist, see what we can give it in the go fast department.

 

Article and picture from www.carsales.com.au

 

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Current and prospective Subaru BRZ customers can now improve the dynamic performance of their vehicles via a sports pack priced at $7195 for automatic and $7995 for manual models.

The above prices include labour costs of fitting the new parts to the car, which comprise several aero and chassis updates which "changes the car's name to BRZ S" says Subaru.

While no powertrain tweaks are available, the sports pack adds the following items:

•    Front under spoiler
•    Side under spoiler
•    Rear side under spoiler
•    Boot lip spoiler (crystal black mica)
•    Flexible tower bar
•    Lowered coil spring set
•    17-inch black STI alloy wheel
•    Gear shift lever assembly (manual-only)
•    Duracon shift knob (manual-only)
•    Engine push-button start switch
•    Rear under diffuser

The extra spoilers and rear diffuser are designed to improve aerodynamic stability at speed, while the performance gains from the flexible tower bar and lowered coil-spring suspension will be manifest in terms of handling dynamics.

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All of the new BRZ S parts are manufactured by Subaru Tecnica International (STI).

Current owners who retrofit the package to their BRZs at authorised Subaru dealers get the "peace-of-mind" of a two-year factory warranty on all items. New customers who order the BRZ online and request the sports pack to be fitted before vehicle delivery benefit from the same three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty that covers the car.

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"All indications are that many BRZ buyers want to add some performance touches to their cars and choosing Subaru-backed equipment offers great design, quality and peace-of-mind that isn’t necessarily guaranteed by after-market suppliers," said Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia.

The kit is available at
BuyBRZonline.subaru.com.au/ and is similar to the 'Sport Kit' equipped BRZ car seen at the 2012 Sydney motor show. Subaru told motoring.com.au that the kit will be an "ongoing option, limited purely by parts supply".

 

For current BRZ, or new BRZ S owners who want more power from their car, MRT is here to help.

Check out dyno graphs and some of the details of what can be done to get your car moving faster.

Also check out dozens of aftermarket suspension, brake and cosmetic enhancements here.

 

Article and images as can be viewed at www.carsales.com.au

ARC Update 2012 & plans for 2013

Following on our rally success in 2012 (for those that do't already know - we won the SUV Championship with a couple of rounds to go!) its to be expected that MRT will announce their complete 2013 plans shortly. What we can tell you here within our E-Magazine is that myself and Andrew Benefield will compete in the full 2013 Australian Rally Championship in our (unique) Subaru Turbo Diesel Forester. The aim is to win another SUV title to back up our 2012 win, as well as to continue to develop the Subaru diesel engine from a tuning perspective and the current generation Forester chassis from a suspension point of view.

What I ca't say right now is who will be partnering us with regard to corporate partners. As soon as this is finalised we will release that info here, to you, our valued customers and readers.

 

Hot Tuner Challenge

Well Motor Magazines annual Hot Tuner Challenge is done and dusted for the 2012 year. I think that's now four years in a row that MRT have competed, everyone one of them with at least one Subaru or more!

This year our faithful partner Troy Kelly and his MPS gen 2 came along for the ride, and MRT presented their new Subaru BRZ. Given the time constraints on taking delivery of the BRZ and getting it ready for the event I'd really like to thank all of our partnering suppliers and most of all my MRT Performance staff for all the extra time and effort they put into ensuring the car was in the best possible set up for the shoot out.

What a challenge it was!
Less than four weeks to prepare and test the BRZ was a tough ask, especially when the other shops had their Toyota's for weeks before us!

Our aim was always to deliver an outstanding overall package that displays the ability of MRT and our corporate partners. We certainly achieved that!

We will run a separate story for updates on this, as well as keep an eye on the growing list of videos here - https://www.youtube.com/user/Brettmiddleton

 

Reasearch and Development

The entire team has been working tirelessly to finish off final testing and begin production of a range of new parts, as well as the functionality of our E-Catalogue/Webstore so it makes it easy for you to locate all the latest and greatest parts for your car. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks as not only will we be launching more BRZ parts (a large portion of the items we ran on our car at HTC), we will also be activating some new advanced functions and features within the webstore.

The new EcuTeK Pro Cable has been an instant hit both here in Australia and worldwide. It now gives us the abilty to send you out a map for you to upload to your car, great if you want an EcuTeK tune but you're not within a reasonable driving distance of your local authorised outlet. Please note this does not apply to all EcuTek supported models. Please refer to our E-Catalogue to see if you vehicle is included.

For our Australian based readers, do't forget summer is coming. Now is a good time to check out the ever expanding range of MRT intercoolers.

 

That's it for this issue. Until next time, happy motoring and stay safe.

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More than 8000 Audi and Skoda vehicles will be recalled in Australia over the same transmission fault that has seen parent company Volkswagen today recall nearly 26,000 vehicles of its own.

Premium brand Audi will recall 6267 of its A1 and A3 small hatchbacks built between July 2008 and July 2011, fitted with the S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (Audi’s name for the Volkswagen DSG).

GoAuto understands Volkswagen’s Czech-based entry brand Skoda is poised to issue a recall on 1746 of its Octavia and Superb models, again fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch.

The issue with both brands is understood to be the same as that of parent company Volkswagen, which this week bowed to concerns over the reliability of its cars by issuing a recall.

According to the official recall notice for the Volkswagen issue, an electronic malfunction in the control unit inside the DSG’s mechatronics could result in the car losing power.

The notice went on to say that “other important vehicle systems, such as steering and braking, along with other relevant systems, will continue to be fully functional”.

Volkswagen said it would fix the fault and do a software update at the same time.

Audi Australia corporate communications general manager Anna Burgdorf said affected Audi owners would be contacted soon, and encouraged those with concerns to call the brand’s customer service hotline on 1800 502 384 if they had questions.

Volkswagen Group cars have been under the spotlight since the revelation almost two weeks ago that the Victorian coroner was looking into the 2011 death of a Melbourne woman after a truck slammed into the rear of her VW Golf, which was stopped on a freeway.

The car-maker has pointed out that the car involved in the 2011 fatality had a manual gearbox. The coroner is yet to hand down a finding.

The Fairfax Media reports sparked a flurry of stories from other Volkswagen owners who reported that their vehicles had unexpectedly lost power while on the road.

The Department of Infrastructure and Transport last week revealed it was working with Volkswagen to “establish whether systemic safety issues are involved”.

Volkswagen issued a recall for more than 400,000 cars in China last year to fix faulty gearboxes. Similar recalls were later issued in Japan and Singapore.

Article by Mike Costello. From www.goauto.com.au

 

Find hundreds of suspension, brake and performance parts for your VW, Audi or Skoda.

Kumho has introduced to the local market what it calls a "modestly priced" tyre for small cars. Named Sense KR26, the new tyre is a development of the Kumho Solus and is specifically aimed at popular models such as the Mazda 3, Hyundai i30, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i20, Toyota Yaris, Holden Cruze, Honda Jazz.

"The best selling cars in Australia are all small to medium size and the Kumho Sense KR26 is an affordable quality tyre for the most popular passenger cars on the Australian market," says David Basha, National Marketing and Training Manager for Kumho Australia.

"It's no secret that motorists do't like replacing tyres and the Sense KR26 means car owners wo't have to compromise quality when choosing a more affordable tyre for their economy cars. The goal has been to provide a superior tyre for a competitive price and the Sense KR26 has achieved that."
   
The new tyre features a symmetrical tread design and offers increased stiffness to reduce tyre wear, which is also enhanced by curved lateral grooves that also help channel water away from the tyre to lower the risk of aquaplaning. Kumho claims that the Sense KR26 also rides quieter, thanks to OPST (Optimal Pitch Sequence Technology).

As can be viewed at www.carsales.com.au

 

The MRT race team use exclusively Kumho tyres on the rally Forester. We also use them on our other R&D vehicles such as our current Subaru BRZ and Mitsubishi Evolution X.

To see how Kumho keep Brett on track then check out our YouTube channel.

 

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Can Hyundai's new 671kW sports car beat Sebastian Loeb's insane 643kW Peugeot 208?

Hyundai has revealed its insane Pikes Peak sports car, but will face stiff competition at one of the most prestigious –  and oldest – motor races in the US in 2013, the treacherous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

US-based driver Rhys Millen broke the overall record for the perilous 20 kilometre 'race to the clouds' in 2012, driving a
Hyundai Genesis Coupe to a time of 9:46.164. He plans to return in 2013 driving this even more insane Hyundai Genesis PM580T car in the 'unlimited prototype' class.

The car is powered by a 671kW turbocharged version of Hyundai's 4.1-litre V6 engine that belts out a spleen-smashing 1085Nm of torque. The force-fed mid-mounted six-cylinder engine drives through a five-speed sequential gearbox, and the whole kit and caboodle weighs 861kg.

It runs Hankook tyres and Brembo brakes and though Hyundai has't released performance specifications, expect a 0-100km/h time of "OMG" and a top-speed of "Say what now?"

Despite Hyundai's new weapon, it's up against the world's most successful WRC driver, nine-times world champion Sebastien Loeb. The rally hotshot is driving a custom-made
Peugeot 208 T16 race car running a 643kW twin-turbo V6 engine churning out 882Nm of torque.

It accelerates from 0-100km/h faster than an F1 car...

Nevertheless, Hyundai and Millen will be looking to defend their title against the Gallic assault with a car that looks every bit as potent as the Peugeot. Hyundai's trump card will be that New Zealand-born Millen is no stranger to the Pikes Peak hill climb, having competed in the event for 15 years, setting various class records along the way.

The race contains 156 corners and challenges car and driver like few other races. One wrong move can result in more than just the end of the race.

The lack of oxygen at the finish line (more than four kilometres above sea level) can also sap as much as a third of vehicular power – that means roughly 220kW drained from the hardcore Hyundai and Peugeot machines.

The start line for the 20km race – similar in distance to a lap of the Nurburgring – is located at an altitude of 2862 metres (9390ft) and the finish line is a staggering 4300 metres (14,110ft) high, and often dusted with sleet and snow.

The 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2013 will almost certainly see records broken as it's the first time the entire course has been fully sealed. In the past there were several dirt and gravel sections, which often caught drivers out, in the worst cases sending them plunging off the side of the mountain.

Pikes Peaks has several car, motorcycle and quad racer categories, but who do you think will win the premier car class – Peugeot or Hyundai? Have your say in the comments below and stay tuned to motoring.com.au for coverage of the high-risk race, taking place between Monday June 24 and Sunday June 30.

Peugeot 208 vs Hyundai Genesis

Power: 643kW vs 671kW
Torque: 882Nm vs 1085Nm
Weight: 875kg vs 861kg
Top Speed: 240km/h vs TBA

 

If you want to keep your Hyundai on the road or get it pulling up faster, check out our online catalogue for loads of excellent upgrades from some of the worlds best brands.

From www.carsales.com.au

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Mitsubishi has announced an all-diesel MY14 Pajero line-up in what’s likely to be the evergreen large SUV’s final upgrade before a redesigned model appears next year.

Biggest news is the Pajero range now comes with a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, following the addition of a front passenger seatbelt reminder and enhanced driver’s side leg protection.

From July, ISOFIX child restraints will also be standard in the Pajero, bringing it into line with the rest of the Mitsubishi range ahead of new Australian child seat restraint legislation later this year.

Pricing remains unchanged, although the manual VRX diesel and the sole remaining petrol variant, the Exceed V6, have both been discontinued, making the Pajero a diesel-only model for the first time.

Mitsubishi’s 147kW/441Nm 3.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, offering 9.0L/100km combined fuel consumption and a hefty three-tonne towing capacity, is therefore standard across the range.

The five-seat GLX base model continues to open the range at $50,990 plus on-road costs, while the GLX-R seven-seater remains $55,990 plus ORCs. They remain the only (five-speed) manual models in the range, with a five-speed automatic transmission adding a further $3000.

The seven-seat Pajero VRX diesel is now an auto-only model and remains at $63,990 plus ORCs, while the seven-seat Exceed flagship is now a diesel-only model priced at the same $73,990 as before.

All Pajero models continue to come with twin front, front-side and curtain airbags, a reversing camera, Mitsubishi’s RISE body protection and, now, front seatbelt reminders and ISOFIX restraints.

Entry-level GLX and GLX-R variants receive Mitsubishi’s hands-free LINK system including Bluetooth 2.0 with voice control, steering wheel controls and audio streaming., while VRX and Exceed variants add the Mitsubishi Multi Communications System (MMCS) incorporating 3D satellite-navigation, a high-resolution touch-screen and rear parking sensors.

VRX models continue to add 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a chromed grille, rear spoiler, rear privacy glass, exterior door mirrors with turn signals and puddle lamps, automatic headlights with washers, rain-sensing wipers, partial leather seat trim, heated/powered front seats and leather-look floor, console and door trims.

In addition Exceed buys score chromed door mirrors, door handles, side strips and foglights, HID headlights, full leather trim, a woodgrain steering wheel and an 860-Watt, 12-speaker Rockford Acoustic Design audio system with nine-inch rear-seat DVD screen.

The 14MY Pajero line up will be available in White, Cool Silver, Graphite, Champagne, Ironbark, Warm White and pearlescent Pitch Black paint colours, with premium paint costing $495 extra.

As with all new Mitsubishis, the Pajero comes with a five-year/130,000km warranty, five-year roadside assist and capped-price servicing for the first four years or 60,000km of ownership.

“Now with peace-of-mind five-star ANCAP rating, Pajero provides a tough yet luxurious four-wheel drive that suits the family’s day-to-day needs as well as being completely equipped for the next adventure,” said Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri.

“There’s a Pajero model to suit every lifestyle, with functionality, safety and power all wrapped up in an attractive package.”


MY14 Mitsubishi Pajero pricing (plus ORCs):
GLX diesel five-seat -- $50,990
GLX diesel five-seat (a) -- $53,990
GLX-R diesel seven-seat -- $55,990
GLX-R diesel seven-seat (a) -- $58,990
VRX diesel seven-seat (a) -- $63,990
Exceed diesel seven-seat (a) - $73,990

As can be found at www.carsales.com.au

MRT has a multitude of upgrades for the current generation Pajero, as well as the Triton and Challenger.

If you own one of the above three models then click here to browse our online catalogue for all kinds of upgrades for your vehicle.

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Now this is art we can like.

Believe it or not, the sculpture you see here began life as a fully-functional 1953 Volkswagen Beetle.

But then 50-year-old Indonesian artist Ichwan Noor got hold of it.

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We’re not entirely sure how he managed to make such a perfect circle – probably with lots of welding, bending and swearing – but it’s not the first time Noor has disfigured a Beetle in the name of art.

He previously ‘built’ a cube-shaped Beetle.

What’s next? A triangle?

If you are currently restoring, rebuilding or upgrading your own bit of automotive art then drop by our online catalogue to see what great items can be had for your pride and joy.

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Article by Alex Inwood, Wheels Magazine.

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But still no plans for a factory TRD package or limited-edition in Australia

Toyota will return to the Goodwood Festival of Speed a year after the local launch of its new 86 sports coupe at the same venue with a hard-core racing version dubbed the TRD Griffon Project.

Created by the Japanese giant’s performance division, Toyota Racing Developments (TRD), the most extreme factory 86 will make its UK debut at Goodwood following its first appearance at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year.

Although it’s not intended for production, Toyota says the Griffon was developed specifically to showcase TRD’s performance parts and features extensive modifications to reduce weight and strengthen the chassis for track driving.

As with the GT 86 TRD limited-edition that Toyota released in the UK in February, many of the TRD Griffon Project’s components can be specified for 86 customer cars in Britain.

They include a unique TRD mechanical differential to replace the Torsen limited-slip diff in manual models, a shorter (4.8:1) final drive ratio, coil-over suspension, a new oil-cooler and TRD mono-block brake callipers with race-spec pads.

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While the production 86’s Subaru-sourced 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine remains unchanged, the 86 Griffon also features a carbon-fibre roof, bonnet, doors, bootlid and rear wings, with carbonfibre-reinforced plastic construction for the bumpers, front wings and rear diffuser.

Polycarbonate also replaces the standard car’s glass windows and a racier TRD driver’s bucket seat, gear knob, ignition button and gauges are also fitted, along with a Momo steering wheel, Takata seatbelts and TWS 18-inch alloy wheels with Yokohama Advan tyres.

Toyota offers a small number of factory accessories for the 86 in Australia, where the waiting list for certain variants can still stretch out to eight months and where a wide variety of aftermarket go-faster parts are available.

However, Toyota Australia still says it has no plans to make the 86 available with parts from the TRD brand, which was killed off Down Under in March 2009 following delayed launches, slow sales and embarrassing engine failures.

“Whilst the TRD Griffon is certainly a fantastic concept, we currently have no plans for any TRD package or TRD-based limited edition here in Australia,” spokesman Mike Breen told motoring.com.au.

Launched in June 2012 with a starting price of just $29,990 plus on-road costs, the 86 has been a smash hit in Australia, where to May this year Toyota has sold a total of 5098 examples.

 

To see what excellent upgrades MRT can offer for your 86, click here.

Power Kits, dyno data, suspension upgrades and more!

 

Pictures and words taken from www.motoring.com.au

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A lean, green hybrid variant of Subaru's XV crossover SUV has gone on sale in Japan, but it's a remote prospect for Australia, says David Rowley, National Corporate Affairs Manager for the importer. 

"I've learned to say 'never say never', but it's not on the horizon," he told motoring.com.au yesterday. 

The XV Hybrid features an electric motor located between the internal-combustion engine and the leading pulley of the standard continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is based on the standard Lineartronic system developed for conventional Subaru models. 

Power for the electric motor is derived from a high-voltage battery situated below the luggage compartment, ensuring the weight distribution for the hybrid model approaches that of the conventional XV. By driving through the CVT the electric motor's torque is channelled to all four wheels, enhancing power delivery and straight-line performance.

Subaru's first attempt at a mass-market hybrid uses around 5.0L/100km, the company claims. 

But Rowley argues there's simply no need for the hybrid in Australia when the conventional XV is already fuel-efficient enough, and without the premium purchase price the hybrid would attract. 

"XV was the first in its class to have auto-stop/start right across the range. We are conscious of the need for efficiency – and that was one of the reasons we put auto-stop/start in XV, as a standard feature."

So what about a diesel variant of the Impreza-based SUV then, if the hybrid's a non-starter?

"We talk to the factory about diesel applications all the time," the Subaru spokesman said with a laugh, but offered no further word on the prospect of diesel power for one of the company's local success stories. In year to date sales for 2013 the Subaru XV has only been outsold by the Forester – 4441 for the XV, versus 5897 for the Forester. 

Not quite two years ago, Nick Senior, Subaru Australia MD, all but ruled out a diesel-powered Impreza for the local market, but left the door open for a diesel variant of the XV, which was yet to be released at the time. A little over 12 months ago, Senior described a diesel variant for the XV range as being on his "wishlist".

For the moment there's nothing more to add, but a diesel XV may be closer than we anticipate. Supply will likely play a part in its introduction to Australia, whenever that may be – if ever.

It's understood the manufacturer is grappling with global demand for existing products, let alone new ones. American demand last month drove Subaru to announce expansion of its US plant in Lafayette, Indiana. Currently that plant builds Tribeca, Legacy (Liberty) and Outback models, but will commence production of the Impreza from 2016. 

Lack of production capacity was worsened by the Japanese tsunami in March of 2011. And apparently Subaru's launch cycle for new product only normalised during the early months of this year – nearly two years after the natural disaster. Does all that mean new model development has been held back while Subaru looks at ways of ramping up production? 

No, replies Rowley.

"They put a significant resource into research and development, and next generation vehicles – as does every brand," says the Subaru exec. "But as for their ability to meet specific demands for, say, an XV diesel for a market like ours, that's not always achievable in short order."

 

MRT Power Kit upgrades for the Subaru XV can be found here.

Dyno data for this model is available at this link.

 

Article and image as found on www.motoring.com.au

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ARC Update 2012 & plans for 2013

Following on our rally success in 2012 (for those that do't already know - we won the SUV Championship with a couple of rounds to go!) its to be expected that MRT will announce their complete 2013 plans shortly. What we can tell you here within our E-Magazine is that myself and Andrew Benefield will compete in the full 2013 Australian Rally Championship in our (unique) Subaru Turbo Diesel Forester. The aim is to win another SUV title to back up our 2012 win, as well as to continue to develop the Subaru diesel engine from a tuning perspective and the current generation Forester chassis from a suspension point of view.

What I ca't say right now is who will be partnering us with regard to corporate partners. As soon as this is finalised we will release that info here, to you, our valued customers and readers.

 

Hot Tuner Challenge

Well Motor Magazines annual Hot Tuner Challenge is done and dusted for the 2012 year. I think that's now four years in a row that MRT have competed, everyone one of them with at least one Subaru or more!

This year our faithful partner Troy Kelly and his MPS gen 2 came along for the ride, and MRT presented their new Subaru BRZ. Given the time constraints on taking delivery of the BRZ and getting it ready for the event I'd really like to thank all of our partnering suppliers and most of all my MRT Performance staff for all the extra time and effort they put into ensuring the car was in the best possible set up for the shoot out.

What a challenge it was!
Less than four weeks to prepare and test the BRZ was a tough ask, especially when the other shops had their Toyota's for weeks before us!

Our aim was always to deliver an outstanding overall package that displays the ability of MRT and our corporate partners. We certainly achieved that!

We will run a separate story for updates on this, as well as keep an eye on the growing list of videos here - https://www.youtube.com/user/Brettmiddleton

 

Reasearch and Development

The entire team has been working tirelessly to finish off final testing and begin production of a range of new parts, as well as the functionality of our E-Catalogue/Webstore so it makes it easy for you to locate all the latest and greatest parts for your car. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks as not only will we be launching more BRZ parts (a large portion of the items we ran on our car at HTC), we will also be activating some new advanced functions and features within the webstore.

The new EcuTeK Pro Cable has been an instant hit both here in Australia and worldwide. It now gives us the abilty to send you out a map for you to upload to your car, great if you want an EcuTeK tune but you're not within a reasonable driving distance of your local authorised outlet. Please note this does not apply to all EcuTek supported models. Please refer to our E-Catalogue to see if you vehicle is included.

For our Australian based readers, do't forget summer is coming. Now is a good time to check out the ever expanding range of MRT intercoolers.

 

That's it for this issue. Until next time, happy motoring and stay safe.

The new RX-7 is some way off in the future, and one of the sticking points seems to be about achieving the fuel economy and emissions targets for the engine set to power it.

That was always to be expected, with rotaries notorious for their prodigious thirst, but the solution has major ramifications for not only Mazda's R&D efforts, but also its manufacturing base.

In conversation with motoring.com.au last week, new Mazda Australia MD Martin Benders suggested that Mazda's next rotary-engined sports car will have to move away from the 1.3-litre swept volume of the RX-8's Renesis engine and 13B rotaries before that.

"I think the way that they were working was that they were going to have to increase the capacity of the engine to be able to do that, and that will require a fair amount of re-tooling to do … to justify that sort of investment," Benders said.

The situation for Mazda is like an analogue of Toyota's Prius, which increased in engine capacity from 1.5 to 1.8 litres for the current third-generation model, delivering more power and torque, while also reducing overall fuel consumption.

Along with Mazda's recent financial problems, it serves to explain why the RX-7/RX-8 successor is a medium term prospect rather than something we'll see next year.

Mazda in Australia would certainly welcome a modern-day RX-7, says Benders.

"It would be nice to have a couple of halo models, and we’re certainly putting up our hand to Mazda in Japan to say, you know, a couple of halo models, like MX-5, like RX-8, which give you that nice sort of cream on the brand..."

Words and image from www.carsales.com.au

Looking for parts for some of the older era Mazdas powered by rotary engines?

If you are a newer generation Mazda owner and have an MPS, CX-7 or MX-5 then MRT offers large amounts of great upgrades for your car.

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Iron man has one, but it looks like production of Audi’s R8 e-tron could be limited to just one unit, after the company announced it will no longer build the electric supercar.

Audi says building the 280kW electric car, which shattered a record at the infamous Nurburgring, isn’t financially feasible.

The news broke at an Audi technology day, where journalists were invited to drive one of 10 near-production e-tron prototypes.

Apparently, Audi isn’t happy with the current state of battery technology, regarding costs and recharging time.

Still, the company plans to use the information garnered from the e-tron in upcoming production models, and is said to be putting its weight behind the 1.4-litre A3 Sportback e-tron which arrives in Europe early next year.

Reproduced from Motor Magazine.

If you're looking for performance suspension or brakes for your Audi (or VW) then check the MRT online catalogue. We have a large range to suit many models.

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The dreaded rush-hour refuelling queue could be a thing of the past at Caltex petrol stations, with a new Pay@Pump system being rolled out across 300 Australian forecourts.

As the name suggests, this time-saving technology enables drivers to pre-pay for fuel at the pump, removing the need to interact with a cashier after refuelling.

Pay@Pump will relieve pressure on conventional payment methods during busy periods while reducing queuing times for customers not wishing to use the new technology.

Other retailers have previously allowed pump payment using brand-specific cards but the Caltex system is the first in Australia to permit the use of a wider range of payment types, including the main credit-card providers Mastercard and Visa.

Recently introduced “tap and go” cards will also function with the Pay@Pump system for an even more rapid transaction, but a PIN will be required for security.

More than 50 sites across Australia already have Pay@Pump equipment in use and Caltex Australia will monitor the popularity of the new system to decide whether more sites qualify for the upgrade when the first 300 installations are completed.

Article by Daniel Gardner
From www.goauto.com.au

For all of your high octane racing fuel, as well as race spec E85, check out our line of Elf Racing products.

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Nissa's overpowering GT-R will be available from June in a Black Edition.

Priced at $182,500 (rising to $199,990 after adding all the on-road costs, Nissan warns), the GT-R Black Edition has already been on sale in other markets, where it has been warmly welcomed for its Recaro seats and 20-inch metallic black alloy wheels.

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According to Nissan, the GT-R Black's Recaros were specially commissioned for the car and come with red leather accents. The wheels are a six-spoke RAYS design that are lighter than the standard wheels to reduce unsprung weight and come with knurled beads to keep the tyres in place during harder acceleration.

“The GT-R Black Edition has already proved popular in other markets, so we are pleased to introduce this exciting model to Australia,” said Nissan Australia MD William F Peffer Jr, as quoted in a press release.

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Details including images from www.carsales.com.au

If you're lucky enough to own an example of one of these great cars, then click here to see just some of the tuning, suspension and braking upgrades MRT has on offer right now.

 

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An upgraded Mitsubishi Lancer range will begin trickling into local showrooms this month as part of the company's end of financial year sales program.

Unfortunately the Ralliart Sportback wo't be among them. The upmarket sporty hatch has been canned for the 2014 model year update, and the dual-clutch variant of the base Lancer Evolution is also no more, effective from the new model year.

Mitsubishi is introducing a value-added edition – to be called the Lancer Sport – based on the entry-level Lancer ES. Additional features for the Lancer Sport comprise 16-inch alloy wheels in a five-spoke design, Ralliart front bumper/grille, VRX rear spoiler, side skirts and a chrome muffler tip. An exclusive hero colour for the Lancer Sport is Lightning Blue (pictured). Available with a choice of five-speed manual or optional CVT, the Lancer Sport is priced from $19,990 (driveaway) for the manual.

Other Lancer variants for 2014 have been revised, with two ISOFIX attachments now installed for every model and level of trim. The base-grade Lancer ES has been de-contented, with a urethane steering wheel fitted in lieu of the former leather-bound rim, new (cloth) seat trim, and mud flaps and the ES badge removed. Just one option is available for the range: the safety pack for the Lancer ES. This consists of a wide colour infotainment display, a reversing camera and reverse parking ultrasonic sensors.

Lancer LX moves sideways, with a new colour infotainment display, rear mudflaps deleted, and gloss black panels without silver pinstripe for instrument panel and doors.

Lancer VRX and Ralliart sedan also lose the rear mudflaps and move to gloss black panels without silver pinstripe for instrument panel and doors, but gain as standard equipment the MMCS system, comprising a seven-inch touch screen, SD card-based 3D mapping, voice-activated Bluetooth/navigation control, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth audio streaming and an additional SD card slot for music.

In addition the Ralliart picks up a leather centre console and dark-grey 18-inch alloy wheels in a 10-spoke design, rather than the previous eight-spoke design.

As for the lesser variants, the Lancer Evolution gains two ISOFIX child safety seat anchorage points, and decorate trim in the centre fascia and doors now features gloss black finish without silver pinstriping previously used. A performance pack option will provide buyers with Brembo two-piece front brakes, Bilstein dampers for all four wheels, Eibach front and rear springs, and 18-in BBS alloy wheels.

The new model year upgrade for Mitsubishi's small car is timed to coincide with end-of-year offers from the importer, including:
•    Driveaway pricing and a $500 factory rebate for the Mirage ES,
•    ASX front-wheel drive manual for $24,990 driveaway,
•    Outlander LS front-wheel drive with CVT for $29,990 driveaway,
•    Pajero GLX-R automatic $54,990 driveaway with premium paint plus $3000 rebate,
•    Pajero VRX automatic $59,990 driveaway with premium paint plus $3000 rebate,
•    Triton GL 4X2 Single Cab 2.4 petrol manual for $19,990 driveaway,
•    Triton GLX+ 4X4 Double Cab manual for $31,990 driveaway plus $2000 rebate,
•    Triton GLX-R 4X4 Double Cab manual for $38,990 driveaway plus $2000 rebate.

Rebates are available for selected vehicles ordered before May 31 and delivered by June 30.

“We have had a strong start to 2013 and we want to see it continue, so we have developed some outstanding offers across the whole range that will suit buyers wanting high levels of specification at really good prices,” Mitsubishi Australia CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri was quoted saying in a press release. “The timing of May also offers our customers plenty of time to get into a Mitsubishi dealer before tax time.”

Story from www.carsales.com.au

For current Lancer Ralliart owners, find upgrades for your car here. Lancer Evolution X upgrades can be found here.

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The game that has encouraged generations of car enthusiasts to jump behind the wheel of exotic cars rather than stick posters of them on a wall is about to get a makeover.

Sony, the Japanese games console giant, has announced that the sixth version of its Gran Turismo driving simulator is about to hit the market.

Gran Turismo 6, featuring even faster, more realistic graphics, and a menu of even more historic and new vehicles, is not far from going on sale in Europe – 15 years after the game was first released for the original PlayStation games console.

However, the great unknown for Australian enthusiasts is whether this version of the virtual proving ground will take a nod to one of the legends of motorsport – the famous 6.2-kilometre Mount Panorama circuit Bathurst.

Sony representatives were busted surveying the racetrack early last year, leading to speculation that the circuit would soon join the suite of the game’s real-world tracks, which includes Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Germany’s Nurburgring, and even Laguna Seca and its infamous corkscrew in California.

Sony has released few details of its updated Gran Turismo, saying only that it will “ bring new levels of authenticity to 'the Real Driving Simulator' as well as introducing stunning new tracks and cars and a revised user interface”.

The company says the game will expand to smartphones and tablet devices, as well as boast “increased social and community functions”. German luxury car-maker Mercedes-Benz announced overnight that 21 of its vehicles will feature in the game, including the 367kW SLS AMG GT3 race car, the 410kW mid-size twin-turbo V8 E63, and the 265kW A45 AMG.

One new track already confirmed is the British grand prix circuit at Silverstone. Sony says it is one of seven new locations the game is adding, with even more circuits available for download.

“All of the cars and tracks from Gran Turismo®5, which has sold over 10m copies since launching in 2010, will be retained in GT6,” Sony said.

“But notable new additions to the already impressive line-up of historic cars, road cars and the latest race cars, brings the total car list to 1200 at launch, with new cars set to be continually added online.”

Sony will launch an online demo of GT6 in July. The final release date of the game is yet to be confirmed.

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Story from www.goauto.com.au

Whilst waiting for this next racing release, check out what hard parts MRT has to offer for your daily driver or weekend track racer.

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Dome has released information about its new Toyota GT86 GT300 car. The new car is based on a composite chassis which will be commercially available at a low cost due to an innovative construction that does not use a honeycomb core. It has been built at the behest of Super GT organisers GTA that want to make the second tier GT300 class more focussed on domestically built tuner cars rather than imported GT3 machines.

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It is not clear when the ’86 will make its race debut but it could be as early as the joint Asian Le Mans Series and GT300 series event at Fuji Speedway in September.
The front engined chassis will also form the basis of the ‘Isaku’ production car set to be launched next year and Dome is hoping that Malaysian, Chinese and Korean companies will use the concept to build their own GT cars as they would be eligible to compete in GT Asia and the Asian Le Mans Series as well as Super GT itself. It has been designed to accept a range of engines, transmissions and other mechanical component to encourage small tuners to develop their own cars.

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As can be viewed at www.racecar-engineering.com

To browse the ever growing catalogue of parts for the Toyota 86/Scion FR-S, follow this link.

For tuning info and dyno graphs.

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Subaru Australia has confirmed it will bring the striking WRX Concept car to Australia in June, as part of a tri-state roving motor show.

Unveiled at the 2013 New York motor show in March, the WRX Concept car is the first official preview of the next generation Subaru WRX, which will tour Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne alongside several other mouth-watering performance cars, including a sporty BRZ S model.

Six cars will be shown at Subaru's 'mini motor show' and while the WRX Concept is the A-list celebrity of the pack, the BRZ S model should also be a crowd-pleaser, due to begin sales in Australia from mid-June.

The BRZ S gets a "long list of components that distinguish it from the standard BRZ" says Subaru Australia, including new 17-inch black STI alloy wheels, a surplus of spoilers (front, back, plus side and even rear-side), plus performance upgrades such as new coil springs and a flexible tower bar.

As with the regular BRZ, it will only be available for purchase online at Subaru's secure BuyBRZonline website. Subaru Australia hinted that the car will be similar to the 'Sport Kit' equipped BRZ (pictured) displayed at the Australian motor show in 2012. It wo't be a limited edition model but an "ongoing option, limited purely by parts supply," said a company spokesman.

Other cars on display at the travelling showcase include special edition 'prototype' Liberty and WRX vehicles, and a couple of other BRZ show cars.

The Liberty GT Wagon Special Edition Prototype will be fitted with plenty of body kit extras, such as front and rear lip spoilers, pinstripe decals, 18-inch Enkei alloy wheels, LED running lights, and even a few performance mods from Fuji Heavy Industries, like coil springs and a sports exhaust.

The WRX Special Edition Prototype is a preview of a yet-to-be-named 20th anniversary edition WRX pegged for sale in September 2013, and limited to just 300 units. The WR blue car features colour-coded Recaro seats, STI front and rear spoilers, gold 17-inch alloy wheels, and upgraded interior materials.

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The cancellation of the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) this year has seen several importers, including Subaru, sinking their motor show budgets into dealer and customer events. Subaru Australia's Managing Director, Nick Senior, said the idea of the three city tour was "twofold".

"Firstly, it is a chance to demonstrate our performance vehicle credentials. It is a coup to get the WRX concept car from the New York show and there are other displays that showcase our long and successful heritage in sporty vehicles," said Senior.

"Secondly, with the future of the traditional motor show clouded, this gives us an opportunity to explore possible options. Our shows will be in Subaru dealerships in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney – we are taking the show to the people," Senior explained.

The Subaru Australia boss also hinted that if the travelling one-marque motor show is successful, it could become a regular fixture for the brand: "It could be the start of a whole new approach to dealing directly with our customers and Subaru enthusiasts".

As well as public viewings (see dates below) Subaru is also conducting private tours of the vehicles with existing performance car customers.

"Our customer feedback indicates there’s still no substitute for seeing our hottest developments in the metal, so it’s an opportunity to amplify our presence in front of people genuinely interested in our cars,”  said Senior.

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Subaru's travelling performance car display can be seen in Melbourne, then Adelaide, then Parramatta on the following dates:

Melbourne: Friday May 31 - Saturday June 8 (not open Sunday), 0830-1700, Subaru Interactive@Docklands,
Adelaide: Friday June 14 - Monday June 17 0830-1700, Jarvis Subaru.
Sydney: Saturday June 22 - Sunday June 30, 0830-1700, Denlo Subaru, Parramatta.

Article and images reproduced from www.carsales.com.au

Want to view thousands of parts for your BRZ/86/FR-S?

Take me to BRZ/86/FR-S Power Kits. Or for those of you who own WRX's and want an array of upgrade solutions.

ARC Update 2012 & plans for 2013

Following on our rally success in 2012 (for those that do't already know - we won the SUV Championship with a couple of rounds to go!) its to be expected that MRT will announce their complete 2013 plans shortly. What we can tell you here within our E-Magazine is that myself and Andrew Benefield will compete in the full 2013 Australian Rally Championship in our (unique) Subaru Turbo Diesel Forester. The aim is to win another SUV title to back up our 2012 win, as well as to continue to develop the Subaru diesel engine from a tuning perspective and the current generation Forester chassis from a suspension point of view.

What I ca't say right now is who will be partnering us with regard to corporate partners. As soon as this is finalised we will release that info here, to you, our valued customers and readers.

 

Hot Tuner Challenge

Well Motor Magazines annual Hot Tuner Challenge is done and dusted for the 2012 year. I think that's now four years in a row that MRT have competed, everyone one of them with at least one Subaru or more!

This year our faithful partner Troy Kelly and his MPS gen 2 came along for the ride, and MRT presented their new Subaru BRZ. Given the time constraints on taking delivery of the BRZ and getting it ready for the event I'd really like to thank all of our partnering suppliers and most of all my MRT Performance staff for all the extra time and effort they put into ensuring the car was in the best possible set up for the shoot out.

What a challenge it was!
Less than four weeks to prepare and test the BRZ was a tough ask, especially when the other shops had their Toyota's for weeks before us!

Our aim was always to deliver an outstanding overall package that displays the ability of MRT and our corporate partners. We certainly achieved that!

We will run a separate story for updates on this, as well as keep an eye on the growing list of videos here - https://www.youtube.com/user/Brettmiddleton

 

Reasearch and Development

The entire team has been working tirelessly to finish off final testing and begin production of a range of new parts, as well as the functionality of our E-Catalogue/Webstore so it makes it easy for you to locate all the latest and greatest parts for your car. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks as not only will we be launching more BRZ parts (a large portion of the items we ran on our car at HTC), we will also be activating some new advanced functions and features within the webstore.

The new EcuTeK Pro Cable has been an instant hit both here in Australia and worldwide. It now gives us the abilty to send you out a map for you to upload to your car, great if you want an EcuTeK tune but you're not within a reasonable driving distance of your local authorised outlet. Please note this does not apply to all EcuTek supported models. Please refer to our E-Catalogue to see if you vehicle is included.

For our Australian based readers, do't forget summer is coming. Now is a good time to check out the ever expanding range of MRT intercoolers.

 

That's it for this issue. Until next time, happy motoring and stay safe.

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Just weeks after being stripped of its world’s fastest production car title, Bugatti has hit back by revealing this – the world’s fastest convertible.

It’s called the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse WRC and officially clocked 408.84km/h earlier this week in the hands of Chinese driver Anthony Liu.

Like the Veyron Super Sport, the Vitesse WRC uses an 8.0-litre W16 engine, but has been tweaked to produce 883kW/1500Nm.

To save occupants from losing their toupees at 400km/h, the Vitesse features a specially engineered ‘roof spoiler’ and windbreak to reduce buffeting in the cabin.

Bugatti will unveil the Vitesse at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month.

Just eight WRC – world record car – editions will be built.

By Alex Inwood of Wheels Magazine.

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Searching for the upgrades needed to help your vehicles set some records?

Try MRT's online store to see over one hundred thousand parts. Search for specific items for your car by catergory, brand and more.

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Electric cars are slow, economical and boring. Right?

Wrong.

Like a speeding bullet, this 700km/h land speed car is about to shatter the perception surrounding EVs forever.

Powered a 2230kW electric motor, the car – called the Venturi VBB-3 – is scheduled to hit the infamous Bonneville salt flats in August where it will attempt to clock 700km/h.

If successful, the Venturi will smash its own land speed record of 495km/h, first clocked in 2010.

A joint venture between Ohio State University and boutique car marker Venturi, the VBB-3 will be piloted by daredevil test driver Roger Schroer.

Copied from Wheels Magazine, words by Alex Inwood.

To find parts for your own record setting attempts, try the MRT online catalogue.

Follow MRT's racing progress this season.

Volkswagen has revealed it is developing a 10-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a high-performance diesel engine fitted with an electric turbocharger.

News of both advanced technologies was revealed by VW Group boss Martin Winterkorn at the weekend’s Vienna Motor Symposium.

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The 10-speed DSG is part of the company’s drive to meet strict new CO2 emissions legislation in Europe, where car-makers are required to lower fleet-average CO2 emissions to 95g/km or less by 2020.

In terms of the number of ratios, it will be a big step up from the six- and seven-speed twin-clutch automated manual transmissions seen in existing VW Group models, as well as vehicles from other car-makers.

However, General Motors and Ford recently announced they will team up to develop conventional (torque converter-type) automatic transmissions with nine and 10 speeds.

Hyundai is also developing a 10-speed auto and Jeep’s new Cherokee will be the first model in Australia with ZF’s new nine-speed auto.

Speaking at the Austrian engine fair, Dr Winterkorn said plug-in technology remains the best and most efficient powertrain option for the medium-term, and that natural gas has great potential as an environmentally friendly and economical fuel.

However, he said he believes internal combustion petrol and diesel engines could be made 15 per cent more efficient with improvements in combustion and thermal management and reductions in friction and weight.

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The VW Group chief also confirmed his company was developing a high-performance diesel engine that will deliver 100kW per litre – a specific power output considered cutting-edge for petrol engines.

Dr Winterkorn said the high-output diesel would feature an array of advanced technologies, including a variable valve-train assembly, a high-pressure injection system that delivers up to 3000 bar and an “innovative e-booster” or electric turbocharger.

Article duplicated from www.carsales.com.au

MRT offers a multitude of brake, suspension and performance upgrades for late model VW Golfs. Simply click here then insert your make, model and series to see what's on offer.

Need your Audi or VW serviced - call MRT, we have factory trained staff on board to look after your car.

ALMOST three quarters of new and used car buyers in Australia use online media as part of their researching process, according to the latest survey results released by Nielsen.

Nielsen’s ‘Australian Automotive Report’ also highlights the increasing importance of smartphones, with almost 30 per cent of new car buyers using their mobile phone to access the internet in relation to their car purchase decision.

Based on an online survey of more than 1000 Australian car buyers and ‘intenders’ aged 18 or over, which was conducted during December last year, the study found 73 per cent of respondents – for both new and used car purchases – turned to internet sites or online applications for assistance.

Among new car buyers, this compared to 35 per cent using TV resources, 55 per cent relying on word of mouth and 61 per cent referring to print publications, while 76 per cent also visited dealerships as part of the decision-making process.

While online resources were relied upon equally by new and used car buyers, those in the market for a used car typically relied less on other forms of information, such as TV (21%), print (51%) and dealers or auction houses (59%).

After the web, word of mouth was found to be the next biggest resource for used car buyers, with 61 per cent seeking advice by talking to people.

Nielsen research director Melanie Ingrey described online sources as “unquestionably important” in the car-buying decision process, adding that “their influence is growing”.

“The opportunities held by online media to build awareness, engage potential vehicle purchasers, fulfil their information needs and move car buyers through their decision-making process are abundant,” she said.

Most of the new car research occurs on laptops (64%) and desktop computers (62%), but the Nielsen report also finds that mobile phones are increasingly used as part of buyers’ decision-making process, up 15 percentage points to 29 per cent of participants in the latest survey.

Tablet usage has also climbed from 5 per cent in 2011 to 26 per cent in 2012, reflecting the increasing ownership of this form of mobile technology across Australia.

Ms Ingrey said that television remained an important source for new car buyers, particularly with the uptake of ‘smart’ TVs in Australian households.

“Internet connected TVs have the potential to be used as a shared online device for group viewing and browsing in the living room,” she said.

“This new connected screen (once penetration increases) holds opportunities for marketers and content providers to support ‘family’ or group experiences to move car buyers through their decision-making process, particularly as many car purchase decisions are made with the recommendation and input of friends and family.”

For those visiting sites or apps, the vast majority of new-car buyers (72%) turned to car-makers’ websites, while 25 per cent of both new-car and used-car buyers said they used social media as part of the process.

The study also found that among new car buyers who have engaged with organisations on social platforms, 28 per cent have engaged with a car brand – up from 18 per cent in 2011.

“These findings signal a real interest in peer reviews and feedback from like-minded consumers,” Ms Ingrey said.

“They also highlight the continued opportunities for brands to utilise social platforms and spaces as a means of connecting with, and communicating with, customers.”

Unsurprisingly, the report found that 97 per cent of used car buyers using online resources turned to specific classified websites, while traditional sources such as print media remained popular among new car buyers, with 65 per cent using print resources at the “awareness” stage.

“It is clear that consumers are looking to varied sources for information, whether it is websites, forums, Facebook pages or classified sites ... in addition to the traditional sources such as print media and visiting car dealerships,” Ms Ingrey said.

“It’s clear that consumers are now seeking ever more information, and their media consumption is mirroring this trend.”

As GoAuto has reported, car companies are increasingly turning to the internet as part of their sales and marketing strategies.

Ford Australia recently revealed that had overhauled its customer service division and now considered the internet as a key element to not just the research and purchasing process, but aftersales as well.

Subaru also broke new ground last year by selling its new BRZ sportscar entirely online rather than through its retail network.

market insight large

Article by Terry Martin.
From www.goauto.com.au

If you're looking to do some online browsing for performance parts from MRT, then head here for thousands of quality parts.

Looking for a new car now but need to workout if you can modify it or not?

Meet General Motors’ 6.2-litre ‘LSA’ V8 – an engine that will make the new MY14 HSV GTS the most powerful Australian-built car.

Ever.

To hit Aussie roads in August, it’s a US-sourced, 430kW supercharged powerplant that will not only dwarf its competition, but set a new benchmark for Australian-built performance.

Basically, it’s mega.

So to celebrate its arrival, we thought it appropriate to rip off the engine cover and take a closer look.

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The figures

Displacement (cu in / cc): 376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 / 103.25 x 3.62 / 92.0
Block material: cast aluminium
Cylinder head material: cast aluminium
Valvetrain: overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery:1.9L supercharger with intercooler; sequential fuel injection
Compression ratio: 9.1:1
Power (kW @ rpm): 430 @ 6000
Torque (Nm @ rpm): 740 @ 4200
Maximum engine speed (rpm): 6200

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How does it compare?

In the ongoing power war between Holden and Ford, the LSA is a nuclear bomb.

Gone are the days of Ford and Holden making incremental 10kW gains in power. Instead, the LSA is a massive 105kW (or 32 percent) more powerful than the current E3 HSV GTS, and 95kW up on FPV’s supercharged Falcon GT R-spec – a car that previously held the title as Australia’s fastest car.

It fact, the LSA is even more powerful than the BMW M5 (412kW/680Nm), and is only matched in output by the Mercedes-Benz E63 S AMG – a 430kW/800Nm version of the facelifted E63, available with 4matic all-wheel-drive for left-hook markets, but only in rear-drive for those who steer from the right.

History

First shown to the world in 2008 in the Cadillac CTS-V, the LSA is closely related to General Motor’s most powerful engine – the 462kW 6.2-litre supercharged LS9.

The biggest difference is the displacement of the Eaton four-lobe-rotor supercharger, with the LSA utilising a smaller blower and lower compression ratio. Lower pressure means the LSA doesn’t need the LS9’s forged pistons or its titanium connecting rods.

Other models to use the LSA include Chevrolet’s Camaro ZL1 – a close cousin to the Gen-F GTS that shares its Zeta platform architecture.

Article by Alex Inwood, Wheels Magazine.

Looking for some upgrades to your brakes or suspension for your Holden?

Peugeot Sport has shown off the new Pikes Peak specification 208 T16 that it will run this year at the famous Colorado hillclimb.

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Although its exterior styling resembles that of the production model, the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak has a tubular steel chassis and is powered by a V6 engine used in restricted form in a Le Mans Prototype. This engine has now been tuned to develop 800bhp.

“Its proportions are very different to those of the production 208,” observes Michael Trouvé who is in charge of silhouette design at Peugeot’s Styling Centre. “This difference gives it an almost beast-like appearance. Peugeot Sport provided us with a number of technical constraints, such as the width, body height, location of the wheels and engine, and we worked to this brief to produce an extreme take on the 208.”

The work of Michael Trouvé and his colleague Attila Bocsi has resulted in a car with a unique stance. “The cars which represent the brand in motorsport have always tended to feature sculpted forms which combine style and aerodynamic efficiency. The 208 T16 Pikes Peak is no exception, and it incorporates all the distinctive hallmarks of the 208 which itself marks a new generation of Peugeot design,” says Michael. “I am very proud to have played a part in this adventure, especially since we didn’t have much time to work on the car’s design, because the green light was only given in November and the project wasn’t signed-off until February.” The car’s aerodynamics naturally haven’t been sacrificed in the name of style. Based just a few kilometres from Peugeot Sport, the team of stylists was able follow the different build phases: “The rear wing, which is that of the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning 908, and the splitter are two features of the car which give it its beast-like attitude. And I am amazed by the beauty of the parts concealed by the carbon bodywork!” All that remains now is to discover the performance potential 208 T16 Pikes Peak and its final livery. Be patient, all will soon be revealed!

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Pikes Peak: a legendary race

The discovery of a gold seam in the middle of the Colorado Mountains in July 1858 sparked off the arrival in the Pikes Peak region of some 100,000 fortune-hunters looking to fulfil their dreams. Numerous disillusionments later, the mountain has since recovered its former tranquillity and is today a designated National Historic Landmark. Yet the peace of Pikes Peak is broken once a year by an invasion every bit as boisterous as the infamous Gold Rush. When a trail to the summit was completed in 1916, a new generation of adventurers flocked to the site looking for a different type of glory, and today more than 150 drivers get behind the wheel in a host of sometimes implausible vehicles to take on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the world’s highest competition of its sort and America’s oldest motorsport fixture apart from the Indy 500. The principle behind the so-called ‘Race to the Clouds’ is simple and involves each competitor taking turns to drive the 20km course that twists its way along the mountain’s flanks to reach its summit at 4,301 metres in the shortest time possible!

The start line is located at an altitude of 2,800 metres, which means that competitors face an altitude difference of some 1,500 metres. Meanwhile, the lack of oxygen is a challenge not only for the engines – which can lose up to 30 per cent of their power – but also for the drivers who must remained fully focused on the 156 cliff-lined corners… It is an exercise which calls for dexterity and meticulous preparation, as well as a little luck! Over the years, the dirt trail has been gradually paved and the 2012 event was the first to take place entirely on asphalt. Unsurprisingly, last year’s competition produced a new outright record for the course when Rhys Millen (Hyundai Genesis Coupé) produced a 9m 46.164s, half the time required for the first ascension in 1916! The entry is broken down into more than 20 classes covering vehicles as varied as cars, bikes, sidecars and trucks. The premier category is the ‘Unlimited’ class in which Sébastien Loeb’s Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak will compete. A number of official test sessions are organised to enable competitors to familiarise themselves with the course, but only one section at a time.

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Article and images reproduced from www.racecar-engineering.com

Wondering about the cetane ratings of diesel fuel? With so many diesel passenger cars now in general use, it’s a topic of increasing interest.

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Diesel combustion

In order to make sense of cetane, we need to look at diesel combustion in a bit more detail. You probably already know that ignition occurs when the heat from compression ignites the fuel, instead of a spark plug. But there are some important details of this process you might not know about.

Unlike most petrol engines, diesel is injected into the cylinder as small droplets near the end of the compression stroke. As anyone who has dropped a match into a pool of diesel will know, liquid diesel isn’t easy to ignite because it has to evaporate first.

First, the injected droplets must absorb enough heat from the compressed air to evaporate some of the fuel from the surface. This evaporation requires heat, so the liquid droplet and miniature cloud of gas are cooled. Then, the gas must mix with enough air to form a combustible mixture. This will happen progressively and spontaneously, but requires time. Finally, as the temperature of the first bit of evaporated fuel reaches the point of spontaneous combustion, the fuel will start to burn. If the delay between evaporation and ignition is long, then there is more time for mixing with air to occur.
Once ignition begins, any fuel already evaporated and mixed with air will burn very rapidly. In relative terms this burning will be practically instantaneous, explosive even, resulting in a sharp pressure rise which causes the classic diesel knock or rattle.

In petrol engines, all of the fuel is present in the combustion chamber when ignition is started by the spark plug. In theory, it will all be evaporated and mixed with air in a combustible mixture. However, in diesel engines, fuel is injected at a fixed rate. Under light throttle, the injection pulse will be very short, while full throttle will require a longer injection period.
The first fuel injected into the diesel cycle combustion chamber will need to be heated, first to evaporate it and then to raise it to ignition temperature as already described. Slightly later in the cycle, fuel will be injected into a mixture which is already burning, so heat and pressure will be produced at a steady rate.

In order to minimise the ignition pressure spike, the amount of evaporated diesel present must be as small as possible. Ignition which takes place late in the cycle after much of the fuel has been injected and evaporated will explosively burn a large amount of fuel all at once. This reduces efficiency, causes high emissions and may damage the engine in much the same way as detonation in petrol engines. Therefore, the time between injection start and ignition should be as short as possible.

High cetane fuel has a much shorter delay between the start of injection and ignition. This means that ignition happens sooner, when very little fuel has been injected and even less has evaporated and mixed with air. Under ideal conditions, ignition will occur very shortly after injection begins and the explosive burning of fuel vapour will be limited, resulting in a quiet, efficient and longer living engine. It may help to consider that high octane petrol will resist auto-ignition, whereas a high cetane fuel will easily auto-ignite.

Design

The design of diesel engine combustion chambers and injectors is a complex process involving many parameters. One key objective is to design the diesel engine to run well on moderate to low cetane fuels.

One early design feature, still used in many light industrial diesels, is a ‘Ricardo’ swirl combustion chamber. During compression, air is forced through an orifice into the separate combustion chamber at high speed. The fuel injector is located inside the combustion chamber, near to the outlet of the orifice. Most of the fuel is directed towards the centre of the chamber, but a small quantity is aimed directly into the oncoming air flow. As the droplets are heavier than air and moving at high speed relative to the incoming air, they are rapidly heated. This enhanced air to fuel heat transfer helps to rapidly initiate combustion, reduces the ignition delay period and lowers the explosive pressure spike. It also makes the engine easier to start from cold.

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Most modern car engines use electronic direct injection, rather than a separate combustion chamber. Electronic injection makes it possible to inject a small pulse of fuel early in the compression stroke. This fuel takes time to heat up, evaporate and ignite, but because there is only a small amount of fuel, the initial pressure spike is also very small. Later, when the main injection takes place, injected fuel encounters heat from already burning fuel and the delay before it starts burning as well is greatly reduced.

The high efficiency, smooth running and high power to weight ratio possible with modern diesel engines is largely due to a combination of combustion chamber design, high pressure electronic injection and high cetane fuels. All of these help to reduce pressure spikes associated with ignition delay. This allows the use of lighter components and higher power outputs. However, most diesel engines are not any stronger than they need to be. If you use fuels with an inadequate cetane rating, the added stresses on your engine may cause early failure, not to mention rough running, poor fuel economy and high emissions.

Cetane

As with octane ratings for petrol, cetane ratings are based on the performance characteristics of the chemical n-cetane. So a fuel made up of 100% n-cetane will, by definition, have a cetane rating of 100. Of course, real diesel fuels are complex mixtures of hydrocarbons.  Cetane fuel ratings for these fuels are determined using a test engine in accordance with ASTM D613. The performance of a commercial diesel blend is then equated to the performance of the appropriate blend of n-cetane and alpha methyl napthalene. If the performance of a tested fuel is equal to that of a blend with 50% alpha methyl naphthalene and 50% n-cetane on the test engine, then the cetane rating will be 50.

The ASTM D613 method requires specialist equipment, is time consuming, expensive and the results are not very precise. Therefore, in practice, while D613 remains the primary reference method, a range of other methods may be used. The method most closely related to D613 is the Ignition Quality Tester (ITQ). This method is essentially a static heated combustion chamber. A single charge of fuel is injected and the ignition delay period is measured. This gives much more reproducible results, but still requires skill and specialist equipment. A range of methods based on common laboratory instruments or physical properties have been tried with varying levels of success. ASTM D4737 uses API gravity (density) and various temperatures in the boiling range to estimate cetane performance.
Cetane values for commercial blends of diesel tend to fall in the range between 35 and 55. Future improvements to the weight, cost and output of diesel engines may be possible through the use of fuels with even higher cetane values.

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Remember that can of starting fluid you used when it was really cold or you had an engine which wouldn’t start? The main component of this starting fluid was dimethyl ether. This chemical can be produced from methanol and when used neat has a cetane rating between 55 and 60, compared to standard diesel in Europe at 51 and US #1 diesel at 44/45 and #2 diesel at 40, and Australian diesel with a minimum of 46. Dimethyl ether has a high cetane rating because it evaporates easily and has a very low ignition temperature.

Diesel engines of the future may be even more powerful than petrol engines and run on renewable fuels which are nothing like what we currently call ‘diesel’.

So, use fuel with a high cetane rating and everyone’s happy, right? Well, not exactly. You see, large diesel engines such as those on tractors, lorries, trains or even ships tend to operate at lower speeds and are much more tolerant of low cetane fuels. Their low speed allows the use of comparatively small injectors which inject fuel over a longer period of time. This slower injection rate also means that less fuel will be present to detonate at the end of the ignition delay period.

The second reason why lorry fleet operators might be unhappy with high cetane fuels is that they tend to release less energy when burned. This means they have to buy and carry more fuel. Since high cetane fuels are also generally more expensive, you can see why they are not so attractive for engines where they are not needed. Extremely high cetane fuels in engines which don’t need them can cause mixing problems if the fuel ignites before it can be distributed throughout the combustion chamber.

So, before you decide to start experimenting with alternative diesel fuels because they are cheaper, greener, waste materials or untaxed, consider their likely cetane rating against that recommended by the manufacturer of your engine. Also, remember that there are other important qualities to look for in diesel. Things like lubricating ability (for some older pumps), and the presence of water and dirt, are equally important.

 

Own a late model Mitsubishi Triton, Challenger or Pajero - click here to see some stunning tune upgrades for your diesel turbo car.

Want to learn more about the number one diesel tuning solution as offered by MRT?

 

Article by Nick Sauer, as found on www.autospeed.com

 

The first spy photos of Subaru’s next-generation WRX have been captured in Germany, revealing a design that has more in common with the regular Impreza sedan than the drop-dead gorgeous WRX Concept that debuted in New York last month.

Snapped testing near the infamous Nurburgring road circuit, the camouflaged Subaru WRX eschews the concept car's dramatically rising shoulder line, instead showing a fairly conventional, horizontal interpretation.

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The roofline is not as sleek or low as the concept car's, and its wing mirrors are fixed to the doors, not the A-pillars. Also, the grille and lower air-dam are smaller than the concept study.

The front-end appears to have more in common with the WRX concept car, however, with swept headlights and foglight/driving light nacelles giving the car an aggressive demeanour.

Pumped wheel-arches and trademark vents behind the front wheel wells add machismo, and the giant "clothes dryer" rear wing suggests this vehicle could even be an STI mule.

The WRX's iconic bonnet scoop makes a return and the car's bodykit comprises lower front fascia, side skirts and a rear diffuser that are all much milder than those seen on the WRX Concept in New York, while large 19-inch BBS wheels appear to be in use.

Making use of Subaru's much-loved all-wheel drive system, the new 2014 WRX is expected to be powered by a variation of the engine used in the new Forester XT, a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injected four-cylinder boxer delivering 177kW/350Nm.

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Though the new WRX engine will displace less than the current model's 2.5-litre turbo-petrol boxer, the new 2.0-litre WRX is expected to generate at least the same power outputs of 195kW/343Nm.

Moreover, Subaru says the new model will be the fastest WRX yet, thanks in part to weight reductions potentially including carbon-fibre and aluminium body panels.

The new Rex will be based on the same platform as Subaru’s latest Impreza, but will have its own unique look to distance it from its more pedestrian small-car cousins.

Currently priced at $39,990 in Australia, the outgoing WRX is available in hatch and sedan body styles, but the new model will be exclusively offered in four-door sedan form with either manual or automatic (CVT) transmissions.

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To see what MRT offers for the current and prior WRX's - take me to the online catalogue.